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Sample records for photoperiodic songbird express

  1. Testicular growth and regression are not correlated with Dio2 expression in a wild male songbird, sturnus vulgaris, exposed to natural changes in photoperiod.

    PubMed

    Bentley, George E; Tucker, Shanna; Chou, Heather; Hau, Michaela; Perfito, Nicole

    2013-05-01

    Timing of seasonal breeding in birds and mammals is regulated by changing the day length and is dependent on the presence of thyroid hormones. A mechanism for thyroid-dependent control of seasonality has been proposed, in which exposure to long day lengths induces rapid local conversion of T4 to its bioactive form, T3, via the up-regulation of the enzyme type 2 iodothyronine deiodinase (Dio2) in the brain, and the down-regulation of Dio3 (which inactivates T3). Such changes were correlated with gonadotropin release and gonadal growth in quail. This mechanism was elucidated in a domesticated species (quail) exposed to unnatural acute changes in day length. Here we investigated the Dio2/Dio3 mechanism in a wild species, the European starling, under naturally changing day length. Although Dio2 expression varied seasonally, Dio3 did not. We found no correlation of Dio2 with photoperiod, seasonal regulation of GnRH, or testicular volume. The observed differences in data from starlings and quail could be a result of phylogeny, genetic drift from founder populations, or differences in reproductive seasonality in addition to or instead of arising from domestication or use of artificially changing photoperiods. Overall, the data indicate that in a wild species exposed to natural changes in day length, the current proposed mechanism for photoperiodic timing is less straightforward than is generally accepted and might not be as universally applicable as previously thought.

  2. Testicular growth and regression are not correlated with Dio2 expression in a wild male songbird, sturnus vulgaris, exposed to natural changes in photoperiod.

    PubMed

    Bentley, George E; Tucker, Shanna; Chou, Heather; Hau, Michaela; Perfito, Nicole

    2013-05-01

    Timing of seasonal breeding in birds and mammals is regulated by changing the day length and is dependent on the presence of thyroid hormones. A mechanism for thyroid-dependent control of seasonality has been proposed, in which exposure to long day lengths induces rapid local conversion of T4 to its bioactive form, T3, via the up-regulation of the enzyme type 2 iodothyronine deiodinase (Dio2) in the brain, and the down-regulation of Dio3 (which inactivates T3). Such changes were correlated with gonadotropin release and gonadal growth in quail. This mechanism was elucidated in a domesticated species (quail) exposed to unnatural acute changes in day length. Here we investigated the Dio2/Dio3 mechanism in a wild species, the European starling, under naturally changing day length. Although Dio2 expression varied seasonally, Dio3 did not. We found no correlation of Dio2 with photoperiod, seasonal regulation of GnRH, or testicular volume. The observed differences in data from starlings and quail could be a result of phylogeny, genetic drift from founder populations, or differences in reproductive seasonality in addition to or instead of arising from domestication or use of artificially changing photoperiods. Overall, the data indicate that in a wild species exposed to natural changes in day length, the current proposed mechanism for photoperiodic timing is less straightforward than is generally accepted and might not be as universally applicable as previously thought. PMID:23525217

  3. Hypothalamic gene switches control transitions between seasonal life history states in a night-migratory photoperiodic songbird.

    PubMed

    Majumdar, Gaurav; Rani, Sangeeta; Kumar, Vinod

    2015-01-01

    This study investigated photoperiodic plasticity in hypothalamic expression of genes implicated in the photoperiodic light perception (rhodopsin, melanopsin, neuropsin and peropsin), transduction (pax6, bmal1, clock, per2 and casr), induction (eya3, tshβ, dio2 and dio3, gnrh and gnih) and metabolism (NPY, sirtuin1, foxO1, hmgcr, citrate synthase and dehydrogenases) in photosensitive and photorefractory redheaded buntings. There was a significant increase in eya3, tsh β, dio2, pax6 and rhodopsin and decrease in dio3 mRNA expression at hour 15 and/or 19 on the day photosensitive buntings were subjected to a 13- or 16 h, but not to 8- and 11 h light exposure. Downstream reproductive and metabolic gene expression was not altered, except for an increase in those genes coding for succinate and malate dehydrogenase enzymes involved in lipogenesis. Photorefractory buntings had high dio3 mRNA expression which significantly declined after 1 short day exposure, suggesting possible involvement of dio3 in the maintenance of photorefractoriness. Positive correlation of rhodopsin on eya 3 and tshβ indicates its role in photoperiodic timing, perhaps involving the peropsin and pax6 genes. These results suggest that rapid switching of hypothalamic gene expression underlies photoperiod-induced seasonal plasticity and regulates transitions from photosensitive to photostimulated and from photorefractory to photosensitive states in migratory songbirds.

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

    PubMed

    Calisi, Rebecca M; Knudsen, Daniel P; Krause, Jesse S; Wingfield, John C; Gentner, Timothy Q

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  6. Early regulation of hypothalamic arcuate nucleus CART gene expression by short photoperiod in the Siberian hamster.

    PubMed

    Mercer, Julian G; Ellis, Claire; Moar, Kim M; Logie, Tracy J; Morgan, Peter J; Adam, Clare L

    2003-03-28

    Cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART) mRNA is expressed in a number of hypothalamic nuclei including the arcuate nucleus (ARC). An increase in CART gene expression in the ARC of juvenile female Siberian hamsters (Phodopus sungorus) 14 days after transfer to short photoperiod at weaning and prior to major divergence of body weight trajectory in this seasonal mammal implicates CART in the induction of programmed weight change. In the current series of experiments, elevated CART mRNA in short photoperiod juvenile female animals relative to long photoperiod controls was apparent throughout the caudal-rostral extent of the ARC after 14 days, but was not observed when short photoperiod exposure was limited to 4-7 days. Elevated CART gene expression was also observed in juvenile males 14 days after transfer to short photoperiod at weaning, in adult female hamsters 14 days after transfer to short photoperiod and in adult male hamsters 21 days after transfer to short photoperiod. There were no consistent trends in expression levels of other energy balance-related genes with these relatively short duration photoperiod manipulations, suggesting that CART may be involved in short photoperiod-programmed body weight regulation.

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  9. 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. PMID:22590633

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-11

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Annual life history-dependent gene expression in the hypothalamus and liver of a migratory songbird: insights into the molecular regulation of seasonal metabolism.

    PubMed

    Trivedi, Amit K; Kumar, Jayant; Rani, Sangeeta; Kumar, Vinod

    2014-10-01

    Birds seasonally switch from one life history state (LHS) to another to maximize their fitness. Accordingly, they exhibit distinct differences in their physiological and behavioral phenotypes between seasons. Possible molecular mechanisms underlying changes through the seasons have scarcely been examined in migratory birds. The present study measured key genes suggested to be involved in the metabolic regulation of 4 photoperiodically induced seasonal LHSs in a long-distance migratory songbird, the blackheaded bunting (Emberiza melanocephala). Buntings were held under short days (8 h light:16 h darkness, 8L:16D), during which they maintained the winter nonmigratory phenotype. Then they were exposed for several weeks to long days (13L:11D). Differences in the activity-rest pattern, body fattening and weight gain, testis size, organ (heart, intestine) weights, and blood glucose and triglyceride levels confirmed that buntings sequentially exhibited spring migration-linked premigratory, migratory, and postmigratory LHSs under long days. The mRNA levels of circadian genes involved in metabolism (Bmal1, Clock, Npas2, Rorα, and Rev-erbα) and of genes that encode for proteins/enzymes involved in the regulation of glucose (Sirt1, FoxO1, Glut1, and Pygl) and lipids (Hmg-CoA; Pparα, Pparγ; Fasn and Acaca) showed LHS-dependent changes in their light-dark expression patterns in the hypothalamus and liver. These initial results on genetic regulation of metabolism in a migratory species extend the idea that the transitions between LHSs in a seasonal species are accomplished by changes at multiple regulatory levels. Thus, these findings promise new insights into the mechanism(s) of adaptation to seasons in higher vertebrates.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-04-01

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

  3. Rubisco expression in the dinoflagellate Symbiodinium sp. is influenced by both photoperiod and endosymbiotic lifestyle.

    PubMed

    Mayfield, Anderson B; Hsiao, Yi-Yuong; Chen, Hung-Kai; Chen, Chii-Shiarng

    2014-08-01

    Although the importance of anthozoan-dinoflagellate (genus Symbiodinium) endosymbioses in the establishment of coral reef ecosystems is evident, little is known about the molecular regulation of photosynthesis in the intra-gastrodermal symbiont communities, particularly with respect to the rate-limiting Calvin cycle enzyme ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (rubisco). In this study, we analyzed rubisco mRNA (rbcL) and protein (RBCL) concentrations over the diel cycle in both cultured and endosymbiotic Symbiodinium samples. In the former, rbcL expression increased upon illumination and decreased during the dark, a pattern that was upheld under continual dark incubation. A different trend in rbcL expression was observed in endosymbiotic Symbiodinium residing within sea anemone (Aiptasia pulchella) tissues, in which illumination gradually led to decreased rbcL mRNA expression. Unexpectedly, RBCL protein expression did not vary over time within anemone tissues, and in neither cultured nor endosymbiotic samples was a correlation between gene and protein expression documented. It appears, then, that photoperiod, lifestyle, and posttranscriptional regulation are all important drivers of RBCL expression in this ecologically important dinoflagellate. PMID:24449387

  4. Rubisco expression in the dinoflagellate Symbiodinium sp. is influenced by both photoperiod and endosymbiotic lifestyle.

    PubMed

    Mayfield, Anderson B; Hsiao, Yi-Yuong; Chen, Hung-Kai; Chen, Chii-Shiarng

    2014-08-01

    Although the importance of anthozoan-dinoflagellate (genus Symbiodinium) endosymbioses in the establishment of coral reef ecosystems is evident, little is known about the molecular regulation of photosynthesis in the intra-gastrodermal symbiont communities, particularly with respect to the rate-limiting Calvin cycle enzyme ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (rubisco). In this study, we analyzed rubisco mRNA (rbcL) and protein (RBCL) concentrations over the diel cycle in both cultured and endosymbiotic Symbiodinium samples. In the former, rbcL expression increased upon illumination and decreased during the dark, a pattern that was upheld under continual dark incubation. A different trend in rbcL expression was observed in endosymbiotic Symbiodinium residing within sea anemone (Aiptasia pulchella) tissues, in which illumination gradually led to decreased rbcL mRNA expression. Unexpectedly, RBCL protein expression did not vary over time within anemone tissues, and in neither cultured nor endosymbiotic samples was a correlation between gene and protein expression documented. It appears, then, that photoperiod, lifestyle, and posttranscriptional regulation are all important drivers of RBCL expression in this ecologically important dinoflagellate.

  5. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-02-01

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

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-01

    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.

  10. 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.

  11. Comparative Analysis of Protocadherin-11 X-Linked Expression among Postnatal Rodents, Non-Human Primates, and Songbirds Suggests Its Possible Involvement in Brain Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Matsunaga, Eiji; Nambu, Sanae; Oka, Mariko; Okanoya, Kazuo; Iriki, Atsushi

    2013-01-01

    Background Protocadherin-11 is a cell adhesion molecule of the cadherin superfamily. Since, only in humans, its paralog is found on the Y chromosome, it is expected that protocadherin-11X/Y plays some role in human brain evolution or sex differences. Recently, a genetic mutation of protocadherin-11X/Y was reported to be associated with a language development disorder. Here, we compared the expression of protocadherin-11 X-linked in developing postnatal brains of mouse (rodent) and common marmoset (non-human primate) to explore its possible involvement in mammalian brain evolution. We also investigated its expression in the Bengalese finch (songbird) to explore a possible function in animal vocalization and human language faculties. Methodology/Principal Findings Protocadherin-11 X-linked was strongly expressed in the cerebral cortex, hippocampus, amygdala and brainstem. Comparative analysis between mice and marmosets revealed that in certain areas of marmoset brain, the expression was clearly enriched. In Bengalese finches, protocadherin-11 X-linked was expressed not only in nuclei of regions of the vocal production pathway and the tracheosyringeal hypoglossal nucleus, but also in areas homologous to the mammalian amygdala and hippocampus. In both marmosets and Bengalese finches, its expression in pallial vocal control areas was developmentally regulated, and no clear expression was seen in the dorsal striatum, indicating a similarity between songbirds and non-human primates. Conclusions/Significance Our results suggest that the enriched expression of protocadherin-11 X-linked is involved in primate brain evolution and that some similarity exists between songbirds and primates regarding the neural basis for vocalization. PMID:23527036

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-22

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

  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. Photoperiod differentially regulates the expression of Per1 and ICER in the pars tuberalis and the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the Siberian hamster.

    PubMed

    Messager, S; Hazlerigg, D G; Mercer, J G; Morgan, P J

    2000-08-01

    Previous studies demonstrated that the clock gene Per1 and the transcription factor ICER are expressed rhythmically in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) and in the pars tuberalis (PT). In the Syrian hamster the duration of photoperiod affects the amplitude of gene expression in the PT, and melatonin administered before lights-on suppressed the peak of Per1/ICER expression; these effects were not seen in the SCN. It was speculated that the inefficacy of melatonin was due to the low density of melatonin receptors in the SCN of this species. The aim of the present study was to determine whether this phenomenon also occurs in the Siberian hamster, which expresses a higher density of melatonin receptors in the SCN. Male Siberian hamsters were housed in long days (16 h light : 8 h dark) or short days (8 h light : 16 h dark) and expression of Per1 and ICER mRNA was studied by in situ hybridization. The expression of Per1 and ICER mRNA in the PT peaked 3 h following lights-on (ZT3) under both photoperiods. The amplitudes of these peaks were greatly attenuated under short photoperiod. In the SCN, the duration of Per1 gene expression was proportional to the length of the light phase, but only a modest amplitude effect was observed. Injections of melatonin (25 microg) 1 h before lights-on significantly reduced the expression of both genes in the PT at ZT3, but had no effect in the SCN. These data demonstrate that photoperiod-dependent amplitude modulation of Per1 and ICER gene expression in the PT is conserved across species, and reinforce the argument that this phenomenon is driven by melatonin.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Auditory–vocal mirroring in songbirds

    PubMed Central

    Mooney, Richard

    2014-01-01

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

  20. 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

  1. Hypothalamic gene expression rapidly changes in response to photoperiod in juvenile Siberian hamsters (Phodopus sungorus).

    PubMed

    Herwig, A; Petri, I; Barrett, P

    2012-07-01

    Siberian hamsters are seasonal mammals that survive a winter climate by making adaptations in physiology and behaviour. This includes gonadal atrophy, reduced food intake and body weight. The underlying central mechanisms responsible for the physiological adaptations are not fully established but involve reducing hypothalamic tri-iodthyronine (T3) levels. Juvenile Siberian hamsters born or raised in short days (SD) respond in a similar manner, although with an inhibition of gonadal development and growth instead of reversing an established long day (LD) phenotype. Using juvenile male hamsters, the present study aimed to investigate whether the central mechanisms are similar before the establishment of the mature LD phenotype. By in situ hybridisation, we examined the response of genes involved in thyroid hormone (Dio2 and Dio3, which determine hypothalamic T3 levels) and glucose/glutamate metabolism in the ependymal layer, histamine H3 receptor and VGF as representatives of the highly responsive dorsomedial posterior arcuate nucleus (dmpARC), and somatostatin, a hypothalamic neuropeptide involved in regulating the growth axis. Differential gene expression of type 2 and type 3 deiodinase in the ependymal layer, histamine H3 receptor in the dmpARC and somatostatin in the ARC was established by the eighth day in SD. These changes are followed by alterations in glucose metabolism related genes in the ependymal layer by day 16 and increased secretogranin expression in the dmpARC by day 32. In conclusion, our data demonstrate similar but rapid and highly responsive changes in gene expression in the brain of juvenile Siberian hamsters in response to a switch from LD to SD. The data also provide a temporal definition of gene expression changes relative to physiological adaptations of body weight and testicular development and highlight the likely importance of thyroid hormone availability as an early event in the adaptation of physiology to a winter climate in juvenile

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

    PubMed

    Shahed, Asha; Young, Kelly A

    2011-01-15

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

  3. Photoperiodic Suppression of Drug Reinstatement

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  4. Photoperiodic regulation of leptin sensitivity in the Siberian hamster, Phodopus sungorus, is reflected in arcuate nucleus SOCS-3 (suppressor of cytokine signaling) gene expression.

    PubMed

    Tups, Alexander; Ellis, Claire; Moar, Kim M; Logie, Tracy J; Adam, Clare L; Mercer, Julian G; Klingenspor, Martin

    2004-03-01

    We present the first evidence that suppressor of cytokine signaling-3 (SOCS3), a protein inhibiting Janus kinase/signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) signaling distal of the leptin receptor, conveys seasonal changes in leptin sensitivity in the Siberian hamster. Food deprivation (48 h) reduced SOCS3 gene expression in hamsters acclimated to either long (LD) or short (SD) photoperiods, suggesting that leptin signals acute starvation regardless of photoperiod. However, SOCS3 mRNA levels were substantially lower in the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus of hamsters acclimated to SD than in those raised in LD. In juveniles raised in LD, a rapid increase in SOCS3 mRNA was observed within 4 d of weaning, which was completely prevented by transfer to SD on the day of weaning. The early increase in SOCS3 gene expression in juvenile hamsters in LD clearly preceded the establishment of different body weight trajectories in LD and SD. In adult LD hamsters, SOCS3 mRNA was maintained at an elevated level despite the chronic food restriction imposed to lower body weight and serum leptin to or even below SD levels. A single injection of leptin in SD hamsters elevated SOCS3 mRNA to LD levels, whereas leptin treatment had no effect on SOCS3 gene expression in LD hamsters. Our results suggest that the development of leptin resistance in LD-acclimated hamsters involves SOCS3-mediated suppression of leptin signaling in the arcuate nucleus. Increased SOCS3 expression in LD hamsters is independent of body fat and serum leptin levels, suggesting that the photoperiod is able to trigger the biannual reversible switch in leptin sensitivity.

  5. Hypothalamic neuropeptide gene expression during recovery from food restriction superimposed on short-day photoperiod-induced weight loss in the Siberian hamster.

    PubMed

    Archer, Zoë A; Moar, Kim M; Logie, Tracy J; Reilly, Laura; Stevens, Valerie; Morgan, Peter J; Mercer, Julian G

    2007-09-01

    Previously, 40% food restriction of male Siberian hamsters over 21 days in short-day (SD) photoperiod induced characteristic changes in expression of hypothalamic arcuate nucleus energy balance genes; mRNAs for neuropeptide Y, agouti-related peptide, and leptin receptor were upregulated, and those of proopiomelanocortin and cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript were depressed. The present study examined the effect of refeeding hamsters for 6 days (approximately 50% recovery of weight differential) or 19 days (resumption of appropriate weight trajectory). Hyperphagia continued throughout refeeding, but differences in fat pad weights and leptin levels had disappeared after 19 days. Cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript gene expression was depressed by prior restriction in both refed groups. The depressive effect of prior restriction on proopiomelanocortin gene expression had disappeared after 19 days of refeeding. There was no effect of prior food restriction on neuropeptide Y or agouti-related peptide gene expression. Expression of the anorexigenic brain-derived neurotrophic factor was downregulated in the ventromedial nucleus after SD exposure for 12 wk. In the SD food restriction study, there were effects of photoperiod on brain-derived neurotrophic factor gene expression but not of prior food restriction. Hypothalamic energy balance genes in the hamster respond asynchronously to return to a seasonally appropriate body weight. The achievement of this weight rather than the weight at which caloric restriction was imposed is the critical factor. The differential responses of hypothalamic energy balance genes to food restriction and refeeding are poorly characterized in any species, a critical issue given their potential relevance to human weight loss strategies that involve caloric restriction.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  7. Photoperiodic condition is associated with region-specific expression of GNRH1 mRNA in the preoptic area of the male starling (Sturnus vulgaris).

    PubMed

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

    2009-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-05-01

    The Lemna genus is a group of monocotyledonous plants with tiny, floating bodies. Lemna gibba G3 and L. paucicostata 6746 were once intensively analyzed for physiological timing systems of photoperiodic flowering and circadian rhythms since they showed obligatory and sensitive photoperiodic responses of a long-day and a short-day plant, respectively. We attempted to approach the divergence of biological timing systems at the molecular level using these plants. We first employed molecular techniques to study their circadian clock systems. We developed a convenient bioluminescent reporter system to monitor the circadian rhythms of Lemna plants. As in Arabidopsis, the Arabidopsis CCA1 promoter produced circadian expression in Lemna plants, though the phases and the sustainability of bioluminescence rhythms were somewhat diverged between them. Lemna homologs of the Arabidopsis clock-related genes LHY/CCA1, GI, ELF3 and PRRs were then isolated as candidates for clock-related genes in these plants. These genes showed rhythmic expression profiles that were basically similar to those of Arabidopsis under light-dark conditions. Results from co-transfection assays using the bioluminescence reporter and overexpression effectors suggested that the LHY and GI homologs of Lemna can function in the circadian clock system like the counterparts of Arabidopsis. All these results suggested that the frame of the circadian clock appeared to be conserved not only between the two Lemna plants but also between monocotyledons and dicotyledons. However, divergence of gene numbers and expression profiles for LHY/CCA1 homologs were found between Lemna, rice and Arabidopsis, suggesting that some modification of clock-related components occurred through their evolution. PMID:16524874

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-11-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Lunar Phase-Dependent Expression of Cryptochrome and a Photoperiodic Mechanism for Lunar Phase-Recognition in a Reef Fish, Goldlined Spinefoot

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:22163321

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  15. Differential Ovarian Expression of KiSS-1 and GPR-54 During the Estrous Cycle and Photoperiod Induced Recrudescence in Siberian Hamsters (Phodopus sungorus)

    PubMed Central

    Shahed, Asha; Young, Kelly A.

    2008-01-01

    Kisspeptins, coded by the KiSS-1 gene, regulate aspects of the reproductive axis by stimulating GnRH release via the G protein coupled receptor, GPR54. Recent reports show that KiSS/GPR54 may be key mediators in photoperiod-controlled reproduction in seasonal breeders, and that KiSS-1/GPR54 are expressed in the hypothalamus, ovaries, placenta, and pancreas. This study examined the expression of KiSS-1/GPR54 mRNA and protein in ovaries of Siberian hamsters (Phodopus sungorus). Ovaries from cycling hamsters were collected during proestrus (P), estrus (E), diestrus I (DI), and diestrus II (DII). To examine KiSS-1/GPR54 during stimulated recrudescence, additional hamsters were maintained either in long day (LD 16L:8D, control) or short day (SD 8L:16D) for 14 weeks and then transferred to LD for 0–8 weeks. Staining of KiSS-1/GPR54 protein was detected by immunohistochemistry in steroidogenic cells of preantral and antral follicles, and corpora lutea. Immunostaining peaked in P and E, but decreased in the diestrus stages (p<0.05). In recrudescing ovaries, KiSS-1/GPR54 immunostaining was low after 14 wks of SD exposure (post transfer [PT] wk0), and increased during the early weeks of recrudescence. Expression of KiSS-1/GPR54 mRNA was low with short day exposure, but increased during recrudescence and was higher at PT wk8 as compared to PTwks 0 and 2 (p<0.05). The elevated KiSS-1/ GPR54 expression during P and E suggests a potential role in ovulation in Siberian hamsters. Transient increases in KiSS-1/GPR54 expression following LD stimulation are also suggestive of possible involvement in ovulation and/or restoration of ovarian function. PMID:18937338

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  5. PC1/3 and PC2 gene expression and post-translational endoproteolytic pro-opiomelanocortin processing is regulated by photoperiod in the seasonal Siberian hamster (Phodopus sungorus).

    PubMed

    Helwig, M; Khorooshi, R M H; Tups, A; Barrett, P; Archer, Z A; Exner, C; Rozman, J; Braulke, L J; Mercer, J G; Klingenspor, M

    2006-06-01

    A remarkable feature of the seasonal adaptation displayed by the Siberian hamster (Phodopus sungorus) is the ability to decrease food intake and body weight (by up to 40%) in response to shortening photoperiod. The regulating neuroendocrine systems involved in this adaptation and their neuroanatomical and molecular bases are poorly understood. We investigated the effect of photoperiod on the expression of prohormone convertases 1 (PC1/3) and 2 (PC2) and the endoproteolytic processing of the neuropeptide precursor pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) within key energy balance regulating centres of the hypothalamus. We compared mRNA levels and protein distribution of PC1/3, PC2, POMC, adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH), alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH), beta-endorphin and orexin-A in selected hypothalamic areas of long day (LD, 16:8 h light:dark), short day (SD, 8:16 h light:dark) and natural-day (ND, photoperiod depending on time of the year) acclimated Siberian hamsters. The gene expression of PC2 was significantly higher within the arcuate nucleus (ARC, P < 0.01) in SD and in ND (versus LD), and is reflected in the day length profile between October and April in the latter. PC1/3 gene expression in the ARC and lateral hypothalamus was higher in ND but not in SD compared to the respective LD controls. The immunoreactivity of PC1/3 cleaved neuropeptide ACTH in the ARC and PC1/3-colocalised orexin-A in the lateral hypothalamus were not affected by photoperiod changes. However, increased levels of PC2 mRNA and protein were associated with higher abundance of the mature neuropeptides alpha-MSH and beta-endorphin (P < 0.01) in SD. This study provides a possible explanation for previous paradoxical findings showing lower food intake in SD associated with decreased POMC mRNA levels. Our results suggest that a major part of neuroendocrine body weight control in seasonal adaptation may be effected by post-translational processing mediated by the prohormone convertases PC1

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Temporal pattern processing in songbirds.

    PubMed

    Comins, Jordan A; Gentner, Timothy Q

    2014-10-01

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

  9. Reversible DNA methylation regulates seasonal photoperiodic time measurement

    PubMed Central

    Stevenson, Tyler J.; Prendergast, Brian J.

    2013-01-01

    In seasonally breeding vertebrates, changes in day length induce categorically distinct behavioral and reproductive phenotypes via thyroid hormone-dependent mechanisms. Winter photoperiods inhibit reproductive neuroendocrine function but cannot sustain this inhibition beyond 6 mo, ensuring vernal reproductive recrudescence. This genomic plasticity suggests a role for epigenetics in the establishment of seasonal reproductive phenotypes. Here, we report that DNA methylation of the proximal promoter for the type III deiodinase (dio3) gene in the hamster hypothalamus is reversible and critical for photoperiodic time measurement. Short photoperiods and winter-like melatonin inhibited hypothalamic DNA methyltransferase expression and reduced dio3 promoter DNA methylation, which up-regulated dio3 expression and induced gonadal regression. Hypermethylation attenuated reproductive responses to short photoperiods. Vernal refractoriness to short photoperiods reestablished summer-like methylation of the dio3 promoter, dio3 expression, and reproductive competence, revealing a dynamic and reversible mechanism of DNA methylation in the mammalian brain that plays a central role in physiological orientation in time. PMID:24067648

  10. Night-vision brain area in migratory songbirds.

    PubMed

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

    2005-06-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Early photoperiod history and short-day responsiveness in Siberian hamsters.

    PubMed

    Goldman, Sharry L; Goldman, Bruce D

    2003-03-01

    Siberian hamsters exhibit seasonal, photoperiod influenced cycles of reproductive activity, body size, pelage characteristics, and thermoregulatory behavior. Laboratory populations generally exhibit inter-individual variability in expression of photoperiod responsiveness, with a subset of individuals that fail to show the species typical responses to short photoperiod. This variability is partly explained by a genetic component, as it has been possible to increase the number of short-day nonresponders by artificial selection. Responsiveness to short photoperiod is also substantially influenced by photoperiod history in this species; hamsters that have been raised under long (16L) or very long (18L) day lengths are less likely to exhibit winter-type responses to short days as compared to hamsters raised under an intermediate (14L) day length. In the present experiment, we examined effects of age and early photoperiod history in a strain of Siberian hamsters that had been selected for short-day nonresponsiveness. Hamsters transferred into short photoperiod on the day of birth were uniform in exhibiting winter-type responses. However, hamsters raised until 25 days of age in either continuous illumination or in 16L exhibited variation in responsiveness when subsequently moved into short photoperiod. We conclude that virtually all hamsters of the short-day nonresponsive strain are born responsive to short days. Subsequent development of resistance to potential short day effects is dependent on age and/or photoperiod history.

  13. 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.

  14. The psychology of songbird acoustic communication: Open-ended categorization and its role in songbird perception

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sturdy, Christopher

    2005-09-01

    Songbirds are used as a model system for understanding vocal learning, production, and perception. Over the past several years one particular aspect of songbird communication has been examined, vocal perception that has parallels with human speech perception, namely, the perception of natural acoustic categories in songbird vocalizations. A series of studies will be presented highlighting the role of open-ended categorization in the perception of vocalizations in songbirds. Attempts will be made to make the case that open-ended categorization is a fundamental proximate mechanism for acoustic communication in both humans and songbirds, that it is used in a highly analogous manner in each, and future directions will attempt to integrate these two areas of research and, ultimately, lead to a more complete understanding of acoustic communication in animals.

  15. Molecular mechanism of photoperiodic time measurement in the brain of Japanese quail.

    PubMed

    Yasuo, Shinobu; Watanabe, Miwa; Iigo, Masayuki; Yamamura, Takashi; Nakao, Nobuhiro; Takagi, Tsuyoshi; Ebihara, Shizufumi; Yoshimura, Takashi

    2006-01-01

    In most organisms living in temperate zones, reproduction is under photoperiodic control. Although photoperiodic time measurement has been studied in organisms ranging from plants to vertebrates, the underlying molecular mechanism is not well understood. The Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) represents an excellent model to study this problem because of the rapid and dramatic photoperiodic response of its hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis. Recent investigations of Japanese quail show that long-day-induced type 2 deiodinase (Dio2) expression in the mediobasal hypothalamus (MBH) plays an important role in the photoperiodic gonadal regulation by catalyzing the conversion of the prohormone thyroxine (T(4)) to bioactive 3,5,3'-triiodothyronine (T3). The T3 content in the MBH is approximately 10-fold higher under long than short days and conditions, and the intracerebroventricular infusion of T3 under short days and conditions mimics the photoperiodic gonadal response. While Dio2 generates active T3 from T4 by outer ring deiodination, type 3 deiodinase (Dio3) catalyzes the conversion of both T3 and T4 into inactive forms by inner ring deiodination. In contrast to Dio2 expression, Dio3 expression in the MBH is suppressed under the long-day condition. Photoperiodic changes in the expression of both genes during the photoinduction process occur before the changes in the level of luteinizing hormone (LH) secretion, suggesting that the reciprocal changes in Dio2 and Dio3 expression act as gene switches of the photoperiodic molecular cascade to trigger induction of LH secretion.

  16. Transient coupling of Ng-CAM expression to NgCAM-dependent calcium signaling during migration of new neurons in the adult songbird brain.

    PubMed

    Goldman, S A; Williams, S; Barami, K; Lemmon, V; Nedergaard, M

    1996-01-01

    The adult avian forebrain continues to generate neurons from subependymal zone (SZ) precursor cells, whose neuronal progeny migrate into the brain upon radial guide fibers. These neurons express the immunoglobulin-family adhesion molecule NgCAM, and their migration in culture is disrupted by anti-NgCAM Fab. Confocal imaging of adult zebra finch SZ loaded with the calcium indicator fluo-3, as well as ratio imaging with the indicator fura-2, revealed that migrating new neurons responded to microgram amounts of NgCAM with reversible increments in cytosolic calcium. The calcium response to NgCAM antigen was developmentally restricted, in that it was only manifested by neurons for roughly the 3- to 4-day period between 6 and 9 DIV, even though NgCAM expression persisted tonically thereafter. The period during which NgCAM elicited a calcium signal corresponded to the postmitotic age at which new, bipolar neurons leave the adult SZ to enter the brain parenchyma in vivo. Accordingly, the calcium response to NgCAM was largely limited to morphologically bipolar cells. Anti-NgCAM IgG also evoked a neuronal calcium signal over the same restricted period that NgCAM protein exerted its effect. These findings suggest a dynamic coupling and uncoupling of calcium-dependent signal transduction pathways to a stably expressed surface adhesion molecule, whose function in a given neuron may therefore evolve with cellular maturation.

  17. Arabidopsis MSI1 functions in photoperiodic flowering time control

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:24639681

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

    Perret, M

    1997-04-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. [Effect of the photoperiod of the site of oviposition of Aedes mariae (Diptera,Culicidae)].

    PubMed

    Coluzzi, M; Di Deco, M; Gironi, A

    1975-01-01

    The overwintering biology of Aedes (Ochlerotatus) mariae (one of the sibling species of the mariae complex) was studied in populations from the Tyrrhenian coast of Central Italy (Sperlonga and Formia). Ae. mariae has in this zone several generations per year and its larvae are commonly found from March to October exclusively in rock pools along the coast. Field and laboratory observations show in these populations an embryonic winter diapause induced by short-day photoperiods (9-12 hours). The photoperiod acts primarily on the parental females during their preimaginal life. The expression of diapause is influenced by temperatures and photoperiods experienced by the embryos. Full embryonic diapause is observed when the eggs are incubated at relatively low temperatures (less than 16 degrees C) and at short photoperiods. Short-day photoperiods also induce a remarkable change in the oviposition behavior of Ae. mariae. Laboratory observations show that the adult females readily oviposit on water surfaces when originating from larvae reared at long-day photoperiod while they are very reclutant to oviposit in the same situation when reared at short day photoperiod. Choice experiments involving four alternative oviposition sites (see Plate 1) demonstrate a preference for outside free water in long-day mosquitoes and for inside moist surfaces in short-day mosquitoes. The behavioral difference persists in successive gonotrophic cycles and it is not apparently affected by the photoperiod acting on the adult females. The above evidence together with recovery of overwintering eggs in holes and crevices of rock pools suggest that the shift in oviposition site shown in the laboratory reflects a similar shift occurring in nature. Such photoperiodically induced change in oviposition behavior seems to have an important adaptive significance in providing more constant microclimates to the diapausing eggs and in protecting them from the mechanical action of winter storms.

  5. Photoperiodic Influences on Ultradian Rhythms of Male Siberian Hamsters

    PubMed Central

    Prendergast, Brian J.; Zucker, Irving

    2012-01-01

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

  6. Photoperiodic influences on ultradian rhythms of male Siberian hamsters.

    PubMed

    Prendergast, Brian J; Zucker, Irving

    2012-01-01

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

  7. Photoperiod Regulates Lean Mass Accretion, but Not Adiposity, in Growing F344 Rats Fed a High Fat Diet

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:25789758

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Photoperiod and testosterone regulate androgen receptor immunostaining in the Siberian hamster brain.

    PubMed

    Bittman, Eric L; Ehrlich, David A; Ogdahl, Justyne L; Jetton, Amy E

    2003-09-01

    Day length regulates the effects of gonadal steroids on gonadotropin secretion and behavior in seasonal breeders. To determine whether this influence of photoperiod results from changes in androgen receptor expression in Siberian hamster brain regions that regulate neuroendocrine function, androgen receptor immunostaining was examined in castrated animals given either no androgen replacement or one of three doses of testosterone (T) resulting in physiological serum concentrations. Half of the animals were housed under inhibitory photoperiod conditions, and immunostaining was quantified 11 days later. Measurement of serum gonadotropin and prolactin concentrations confirmed that androgen exerted graded effects on pituitary function but that the animals were killed before photoperiodic influences had fully developed. T significantly increased the numbers of androgen receptor-immunoreactive cells in every brain region examined. Photoperiod exerted no significant influence on androgen receptor-immunoreactive cell number in the arcuate nucleus, bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST), medial preoptic nucleus, or in medial amygdala. An interaction between T and photoperiod was observed in the BNST and in the rostral and middle portions of the arcuate nucleus. Although increasing concentrations of T resulted in more intense cellular immunostaining in the BNST and arcuate, this effect was not influenced by day length. These results indicate that relatively short-duration (11 days) exposure to inhibitory photoperiod triggers localized and regionally specific changes in androgen receptor expression.

  11. Hypothalamic NPY and prepro-NPY mRNA in Djungarian hamsters: effects of food deprivation and photoperiod.

    PubMed

    Mercer, J G; Lawrence, C B; Beck, B; Burlet, A; Atkinson, T; Barrett, P

    1995-11-01

    Two catabolic states leading to loss of body weight were compared in the Djungarian hamster (Phodopus sungorus campbelli). Hypothalamic neuropeptide Y (NPY) and gene expression for NPY and corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) were examined after withdrawal of food for 48 h or exposure to short photoperiod for 10 or 20 wk. Food deprivation was accompanied by increases in both NPY and prepro-NPY mRNA in the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus (ARC). Increases in gene expression were limited compared with published data from the rat and were inversely related to predeprivation body weight. Exposure to short photoperiod for 20 wk reduced body weight by 39%, but the activity of the NPY-ergic system was not affected; peptide concentration and gene expression were similar in short photoperiod hamsters and long photoperiod controls. The hypothalamic NPY-ergic system of the Djungarian hamster is sensitive to weight loss due to imposed manipulations of energy balance, but the catabolism observed in short photoperiod gives rise to a body weight that is appropriate to the season encoded by the photoperiod. CRF gene expression was not affected by food deprivation or short photoperiod.

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

    PubMed Central

    Bentley, P. A.; Wall, E. H.; Dahl, G. E.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. The circadian clock, light/dark cycle and melatonin are differentially involved in the expression of daily and photoperiodic variations in mt(1) melatonin receptors in the Siberian and Syrian hamsters.

    PubMed

    Schuster, C; Gauer, F; Malan, A; Recio, J; Pévet, P; Masson-Pévet, M

    2001-07-01

    Mechanisms underlying the daily and photoperiodic variations in mt(1) melatonin receptors were investigated in the pars tuberalis (PT) and suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN) of Siberian and Syrian hamsters. Whatever its daily profile, melatonin receptor density was strongly increased in both structures and species after constant light exposure or pinealectomy, and decreased after a single melatonin injection, indicating melatonin involvement in the daily regulation of the receptor protein. This was confirmed by a strong inverse correlation between melatonin binding capacity and plasma melatonin concentration. In contrast, regulation of mt(1) mRNA appeared more complex. The circadian clock, the light/dark cycle and melatonin are all implicated in mt(1) gene daily fluctuations, but the extent of their involvement depends upon the structure and the species studied. The photoperiodic decrease in melatonin receptor density observed in short photoperiod (PT of the two hamster species and Syrian hamster SCN) seems to be the consequence of a long-term mt(1) gene repression induced by the lengthening of the melatonin peak. Altogether, these results show that during daily variations, mt(1) melatonin receptor mRNA and protein are differentially regulated, while at the photoperiodic level, the mt(1) protein status depends on mRNA transcription.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Watts, Heather E; Hahn, Thomas P

    2012-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2003-01-01

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

  19. Estradiol-dependent catecholaminergic innervation of auditory areas in a seasonally breeding songbird.

    PubMed

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

    2011-08-01

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

  20. 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

  1. In short photoperiods, human sleep is biphasic.

    PubMed

    Wehr

    1992-06-01

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

  2. Influence of photoperiodic history on clock genes and the circadian pacemaker in the rat retina.

    PubMed

    Rohleder, Nils; Langer, Christina; Maus, Christian; Spiwoks-Becker, Isabella; Emser, Angela; Engel, Lydia; Spessert, Rainer

    2006-01-01

    The influence of seasonal lighting conditions on expression of clock genes and the circadian pacemaker was investigated in the rat retina. For this purpose, the 24-h profiles of nine clock genes (bmal1, clock, per1, per2, per3, dec1, dec2, cry1 and cry 2) and the arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase gene as an indicator of the circadian pacemaker output were compared between light-dark periods of 8 : 16 and 16 : 8 h. The photoperiod influenced the daily patterns of the amount of transcript for per1, per3, dec2 and arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase. This indicates that photoperiodic information modulates clock gene expression in addition to the circadian pacemaker of the retina. Under constant darkness, photoperiod-dependent changes in the daily profile of the level of transcript persisted for the arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase gene but not for any of the clock genes. Hence, quantitative expression of each clock gene is influenced by the photoperiod only under the acute light-dark cycle, whereas the pacemaker is capable of storing photoperiodic information from past cycles.

  3. Winter population trends of selected songbirds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Root, T.L.; McDaniel, Larry

    1995-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-27

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-27

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Photoperiod and reproduction in female deer mice

    SciTech Connect

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

    1982-03-01

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

  8. Ubiquitination in the control of photoperiodic flowering.

    PubMed

    Piñeiro, Manuel; Jarillo, José A

    2013-01-01

    Triggering flowering at the appropriate time is a key factor for the successful reproduction of plants. Daylength perception allows plants to synchronize flowering with seasonal changes, a process systematically analyzed in the model species Arabidopsis thaliana. Characterization of molecular components that participate in the photoperiodic control of floral induction has revealed that photoreceptors and the circadian oscillator interact in a complex manner to modulate the floral transition in response to daylength and in fact, photoperiodic flowering can be regarded as an output pathway of the circadian oscillator. Recent observations indicate that besides transcriptional regulation, the promotion of flowering in response to photoperiod appears to be also regulated by modulation of protein stability and degradation. Therefore, the ubiquitin/26S proteasome system for targeted protein degradation has emerged as a key element in photoperiodic flowering regulation. Different E3 ubiquitin ligases are involved in the proteolysis of a variety of photoperiod-regulated pathway components including photoreceptors, clock elements and flowering time proteins, all of which participate in the control of this developmental process. Given the large variety of plant ubiquitin ligase complexes, it is likely that new factors involved in mechanisms of protein-targeted degradation will soon be ascribed to various aspects of flowering time control.

  9. Photoperiod and oviposition time in broiler breeders.

    PubMed

    Lewis, P D; Backhouse, D; Gous, R M

    2004-08-01

    1. Oviposition times were recorded for broiler breeder hens under 8-, 10-, 11-, 12-, 13-, 14- and 16-h photoperiods. 2. Mean oviposition time (MOT) was delayed relative to dawn by approximately 0.5 h for each 1-h increase in photoperiod up to 14 h, but was similar for 14- and 16-h photoperiods. However, the 0.5 h/h regression for the time when half the eggs were laid continued through to 16 h. 3. The rate of change in MOT for each 1-h increase in < or = 14-h photoperiod was similar to that reported for early and modern egg-type hybrids, but, compared with modern genotypes, time of lay itself was 1 h later than white-egg and 2.5 h later than brown-egg hybrids. 4. At photoperiods < or = 12.25 h, the number of eggs laid before dawn increased by 4-5% for each 1-h reduction in daylength.

  10. CONSTANS is a photoperiod regulated activator of flowering in sorghum

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Sorghum genotypes used for grain production in temperate regions are photoperiod insensitive and flower early avoiding adverse environments during the reproductive phase. In contrast, energy sorghum hybrids are highly photoperiod sensitive with extended vegetative phases in long days, resulting in enhanced biomass accumulation. SbPRR37 and SbGHD7 contribute to photoperiod sensitivity in sorghum by repressing expression of SbEHD1 and FT-like genes, thereby delaying flowering in long days with minimal influence in short days (PNAS_108:16469-16474, 2011; Plant Genome_in press, 2014). The GIGANTEA (GI)-CONSTANS (CO)-FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) pathway regulates flowering time in Arabidopsis and the grasses (J Exp Bot_62:2453-2463, 2011). In long day flowering plants, such as Arabidopsis and barley, CONSTANS activates FT expression and flowering in long days. In rice, a short day flowering plant, Hd1, the ortholog of CONSTANS, activates flowering in short days and represses flowering in long days. Results Quantitative trait loci (QTL) that modify flowering time in sorghum were identified by screening Recombinant Inbred Lines (RILs) derived from BTx642 and Tx7000 in long days, short days, and under field conditions. Analysis of the flowering time QTL on SBI-10 revealed that BTx642 encodes a recessive CONSTANS allele containing a His106Tyr substitution in B-box 2 known to inactivate CONSTANS in Arabidopsis thaliana. Genetic analysis characterized sorghum CONSTANS as a floral activator that promotes flowering by inducing the expression of EARLY HEADING DATE 1 (SbEHD1) and sorghum orthologs of the maize FT genes ZCN8 (SbCN8) and ZCN12 (SbCN12). The floral repressor PSEUDORESPONSE REGULATOR PROTEIN 37 (PRR37) inhibits sorghum CONSTANS activity and flowering in long days. Conclusion Sorghum CONSTANS is an activator of flowering that is repressed post-transcriptionally in long days by the floral inhibitor PRR37, contributing to photoperiod sensitive flowering in Sorghum

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-11-01

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

  12. 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

  13. Development of auditory-vocal perceptual skills in songbirds.

    PubMed

    Miller-Sims, Vanessa C; Bottjer, Sarah W

    2012-01-01

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

  14. Development of auditory-vocal perceptual skills in songbirds.

    PubMed

    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.

  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. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Exposure of C57BL/6J mice to long photoperiod during early life stages increases body weight and alters plasma metabolomic profiles in adulthood.

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

    Perinatal photoperiod is an important regulator of physiological phenotype in adulthood. In this study, we demonstrated that postnatal (0-4 weeks old) exposure of C57BL/6J mice to long photoperiod induced persistent increase in body weight until adulthood, compared with the mice maintained under short photoperiod. The expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor δ, a gene involved in fatty acid metabolism, was decreased in 10-week-old mice exposed to long photoperiod during 0-4 or 4-8 weeks of age. Plasma metabolomic profiles of adult mice exposed to a long photoperiod during the postnatal period (0-4 LD) were compared to those in the mice exposed to short photoperiod during the same period. Cluster analysis revealed that both carbon metabolic pathway and nucleic acid pathway were altered by the postnatal photoperiod. Levels of metabolites involved in glycolysis were significantly upregulated in 0-4 LD, suggesting that the mice in 0-4 LD use the glycolytic pathway for energy expenditure rather than the fatty acid oxidation pathway. In addition, the mice in 0-4 LD exhibited high levels of purine metabolites, which have a role in neuroprotection. In conclusion, postnatal exposure of C57BL/6J mice to long photoperiod induces increase in body weight and various changes in plasma metabolic profiles during adulthood. PMID:27650252

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. MT1 melatonin receptors mediate somatic, behavioral, and reproductive neuroendocrine responses to photoperiod and melatonin in Siberian hamsters (Phodopus sungorus).

    PubMed

    Prendergast, Brian J

    2010-02-01

    Environmental day length drives nocturnal pineal melatonin secretion, which in turn generates or entrains seasonal cycles of physiology, reproduction, and behavior. In mammals, melatonin (MEL) binds to a number of receptor subtypes including high-affinity (MT1 and MT2) and low-affinity (MT3, nuclear orphan receptors) binding sites, which are distributed throughout the central nervous system and periphery. The MEL receptors that mediate photoperiodic reproductive and behavioral responses to MEL have not been identified in a reproductively photoperiodic species. Here I tested the hypothesis that MT1 receptors are necessary and sufficient to engage photoperiodic responses by challenging male Siberian hamsters (Phodopus sungorus), a species that does not express functional MT2 receptors, with ramelteon (RAM), a specific MT1/MT2 receptor agonist. In hamsters housed in a long-day photoperiod, late-afternoon RAM treatment inhibited gonadotropin secretion, induced gonadal regression, and suppressed food intake and body mass, mimicking effects of MEL. In addition, chronic (24 h/d) RAM infusions were sufficient to obscure endogenous MEL signaling, and these treatments attenuated gonadal regression in short days. Together, the outcomes indicate that signaling at the MT1 receptor is sufficient and necessary to mediate the effects of photoperiod-driven changes in MEL on behavior and reproductive function in a reproductively photoperiodic mammal.

  3. Acute Downregulation of Type II and Type III Iodothyronine Deiodinases by Photoperiod in Peripubertal Male and Female Siberian Hamsters

    PubMed Central

    Kampf-Lassin, August; Prendergast, Brian J.

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23891658

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Vertebrate ancient opsin photopigment spectra and the avian photoperiodic response.

    PubMed

    Davies, Wayne I L; Turton, Michael; Peirson, Stuart N; Follett, Brian K; Halford, Stephanie; Garcia-Fernandez, Jose M; Sharp, Peter J; Hankins, Mark W; Foster, Russell G

    2012-04-23

    In mammals, photoreception is restricted to cones, rods and a subset of retinal ganglion cells. By contrast, non-mammalian vertebrates possess many extraocular photoreceptors but in many cases the role of these photoreceptors and their underlying photopigments is unknown. In birds, deep brain photoreceptors have been shown to sense photic changes in daylength (photoperiod) and mediate seasonal reproduction. Nonetheless, the specific identity of the opsin photopigment 'sensor' involved has remained elusive. Previously, we showed that vertebrate ancient (VA) opsin is expressed in avian hypothalamic neurons and forms a photosensitive molecule. However, a direct functional link between VA opsin and the regulation of seasonal biology was absent. Here, we report the in vivo and in vitro absorption spectra (λ(max) = ~490 nm) for chicken VA photopigments. Furthermore, the spectral sensitivity of these photopigments match the peak absorbance of the avian photoperiodic response (λ(max) = 492 nm) and permits maximum photon capture within the restricted light environment of the hypothalamus. Such a correspondence argues strongly that VA opsin plays a key role in regulating seasonal reproduction in birds.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Songbirds possess the spontaneous ability to discriminate syntactic rules.

    PubMed

    Abe, Kentaro; Watanabe, Dai

    2011-08-01

    Whether the computational systems in language perception involve specific abilities in humans is debated. The vocalizations of songbirds share many features with human speech, but whether songbirds possess a similar computational ability to process auditory information as humans is unknown. We analyzed their spontaneous discrimination of auditory stimuli and found that the Bengalese finch (Lonchura striata var. domestica) can use the syntactical information processing of syllables to discriminate songs). These finches were also able to acquire artificial grammatical rules from synthesized syllable strings and to discriminate novel auditory information according to them. We found that a specific brain region was involved in such discrimination and that this ability was acquired postnatally through the encounter with various conspecific songs. Our results indicate that passerine songbirds spontaneously acquire the ability to process hierarchical structures, an ability that was previously supposed to be specific to humans. PMID:21706017

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Songbirds and the revised avian brain nomenclature.

    PubMed

    Reiner, Anton; Perkel, David J; Mello, Claudio V; Jarvis, Erich D

    2004-06-01

    It has become increasingly clear that the standard nomenclature for many telencephalic and related brainstem structures of the avian brain is based on flawed once-held assumptions of homology to mammalian brain structures, greatly hindering functional comparisons between avian and mammalian brains. This has become especially problematic for those researchers studying the neurobiology of birdsong, the largest single group within the avian neuroscience community. To deal with the many communication problems this has caused among researchers specializing in different vertebrate classes, the Avian Brain Nomenclature Forum, held at Duke University from July 18-20, 2002, set out to develop a new terminology for the avian telencephalon and some allied brainstem cell groups. In one major step, the erroneous conception that the avian telencephalon consists mainly of a hypertrophied basal ganglia has been purged from the telencephalic terminology, and the actual parts of the basal ganglia and its brainstem afferent cell groups have been given new names to reflect their now-evident homologies. The telencephalic regions that were incorrectly named to reflect presumed homology to mammalian basal ganglia have been renamed as parts of the pallium. The prefixes used for the new names for the pallial subdivisions have retained most established abbreviations, in an effort to maintain continuity with the pre-existing nomenclature. Here we present a brief synopsis of the inaccuracies in the old nomenclature, a summary of the nomenclature changes, and details of changes for specific songbird vocal and auditory nuclei. We believe this new terminology will promote more accurate understanding of the broader neurobiological implications of song control mechanisms and facilitate the productive exchange of information between researchers studying avian and mammalian systems. PMID:15313771

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

    PubMed

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

    1986-01-01

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

  16. Genetic shift in photoperiodic response correlated with global warming.

    PubMed

    Bradshaw, W E; Holzapfel, C M

    2001-12-01

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

  17. Review: regulatory mechanisms of gonadotropin-inhibitory hormone (GnIH) synthesis and release in photoperiodic animals

    PubMed Central

    Tsutsui, Kazuyoshi; Ubuka, Takayoshi; Bentley, George E.; Kriegsfeld, Lance J.

    2013-01-01

    Gonadotropin-inhibitory hormone (GnIH) is a novel hypothalamic neuropeptide that was discovered in quail as an inhibitory factor for gonadotropin release. GnIH inhibits gonadotropin synthesis and release in birds through actions on gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons and gonadotropes, mediated via the GnIH receptor (GnIH-R), GPR147. Subsequently, GnIH was identified in mammals and other vertebrates. As in birds, mammalian GnIH inhibits gonadotropin secretion, indicating a conserved role for this neuropeptide in the control of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis across species. Identification of the regulatory mechanisms governing GnIH expression and release is important in understanding the physiological role of the GnIH system. A nocturnal hormone, melatonin, appears to act directly on GnIH neurons through its receptor to induce expression and release of GnIH in quail, a photoperiodic bird. Recently, a similar, but opposite, action of melatonin on the inhibition of expression of mammalian GnIH was shown in hamsters and sheep, photoperiodic mammals. These results in photoperiodic animals demonstrate that GnIH expression is photoperiodically modulated via a melatonin-dependent process. Recent findings indicate that GnIH may be a mediator of stress-induced reproductive disruption in birds and mammals, pointing to a broad role for this neuropeptide in assessing physiological state and modifying reproductive effort accordingly. This paper summarizes the advances made in our knowledge regarding the regulation of GnIH synthesis and release in photoperiodic birds and mammals. This paper also discusses the neuroendocrine integration of environmental signals, such as photoperiods and stress, and internal signals, such as GnIH, melatonin, and glucocorticoids, to control avian and mammalian reproduction. PMID:23596387

  18. Review: regulatory mechanisms of gonadotropin-inhibitory hormone (GnIH) synthesis and release in photoperiodic animals.

    PubMed

    Tsutsui, Kazuyoshi; Ubuka, Takayoshi; Bentley, George E; Kriegsfeld, Lance J

    2013-01-01

    Gonadotropin-inhibitory hormone (GnIH) is a novel hypothalamic neuropeptide that was discovered in quail as an inhibitory factor for gonadotropin release. GnIH inhibits gonadotropin synthesis and release in birds through actions on gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons and gonadotropes, mediated via the GnIH receptor (GnIH-R), GPR147. Subsequently, GnIH was identified in mammals and other vertebrates. As in birds, mammalian GnIH inhibits gonadotropin secretion, indicating a conserved role for this neuropeptide in the control of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis across species. Identification of the regulatory mechanisms governing GnIH expression and release is important in understanding the physiological role of the GnIH system. A nocturnal hormone, melatonin, appears to act directly on GnIH neurons through its receptor to induce expression and release of GnIH in quail, a photoperiodic bird. Recently, a similar, but opposite, action of melatonin on the inhibition of expression of mammalian GnIH was shown in hamsters and sheep, photoperiodic mammals. These results in photoperiodic animals demonstrate that GnIH expression is photoperiodically modulated via a melatonin-dependent process. Recent findings indicate that GnIH may be a mediator of stress-induced reproductive disruption in birds and mammals, pointing to a broad role for this neuropeptide in assessing physiological state and modifying reproductive effort accordingly. This paper summarizes the advances made in our knowledge regarding the regulation of GnIH synthesis and release in photoperiodic birds and mammals. This paper also discusses the neuroendocrine integration of environmental signals, such as photoperiods and stress, and internal signals, such as GnIH, melatonin, and glucocorticoids, to control avian and mammalian reproduction.

  19. 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 ...

  20. Using bioacoustics to examine shifts in songbird phenology.

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  1. Using bioacoustics to examine shifts in songbird phenology.

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  2. Photoperiod and acute energy deficits interact on components of the thyroid hormone system in hypothalamic tanycytes of the Siberian hamster.

    PubMed

    Herwig, Annika; Wilson, Dana; Logie, Tracy J; Boelen, Anita; Morgan, Peter J; Mercer, Julian G; Barrett, Perry

    2009-05-01

    In the Siberian hamster, seasonal weight loss occurs gradually over many weeks during autumn and winter. This is driven by a regulatory mechanism that is able to integrate duration of exposure to short days (SDs) with the size of body energy reserves. After food restriction in SDs, followed by ad libitum refeeding, body weight of the hamster does not return to its former level; rather, it increases to a level defined by the length of time spent in SDs. In this report, we show that components of the thyroid hormone system that are involved in seasonal weight loss change expression in response to 48 h of starvation. Eight weeks in an SD photoperiod induced weight loss in the Siberian hamster. In the hypothalamus of these hamsters, type II deiodinase expression was decreased and type III deiodinase expression was induced, but there was no change in hypothalamic neuropeptide Y or thyrotropin-releasing hormone gene expression. For the first time, we show that the thyroid hormone transporter monocarboxylate transporter 8 is expressed in tanycytes and is increased in response to an SD photoperiod. Food restriction (48 h of starvation) reversed the direction of gene expression change for type II and III deiodinase and monocarboxylate transporter 8 induced by SD photoperiods. Furthermore, fasting increased neuropeptide Y expression and decreased thyrotropin-releasing hormone expression. VGF, a gene upregulated in SDs in the dorsal region of the medial posterior area of the arcuate nucleus, was not changed by starvation. These data point to a mechanism whereby energy deprivation can interact with an SD photoperiod on hypothalamic tanycytes to regulate components of the thyroid hormone system involved in photoperiodic regulation of seasonal physiology.

  3. Unexpected diversity and photoperiod dependence of the zebrafish melanopsin system.

    PubMed

    Matos-Cruz, Vanessa; Blasic, Joseph; Nickle, Benjamin; Robinson, Phyllis R; Hattar, Samer; Halpern, Marnie E

    2011-01-01

    Animals have evolved specialized photoreceptors in the retina and in extraocular tissues that allow them to measure light changes in their environment. In mammals, the retina is the only structure that detects light and relays this information to the brain. The classical photoreceptors, rods and cones, are responsible for vision through activation of rhodopsin and cone opsins. Melanopsin, another photopigment first discovered in Xenopus melanophores (Opn4x), is expressed in a small subset of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) in the mammalian retina, where it mediates non-image forming functions such as circadian photoentrainment and sleep. While mammals have a single melanopsin gene (opn4), zebrafish show remarkable diversity with two opn4x-related and three opn4-related genes expressed in distinct patterns in multiple neuronal cell types of the developing retina, including bipolar interneurons. The intronless opn4.1 gene is transcribed in photoreceptors as well as in horizontal cells and produces functional photopigment. Four genes are also expressed in the zebrafish embryonic brain, but not in the photoreceptive pineal gland. We discovered that photoperiod length influences expression of two of the opn4-related genes in retinal layers involved in signaling light information to RGCs. Moreover, both genes are expressed in a robust diurnal rhythm but with different phases in relation to the light-dark cycle. The results suggest that melanopsin has an expanded role in modulating the retinal circuitry of fish.

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. Photoperiod regulates genes encoding melanocortin 3 and serotonin receptors and secretogranins in the dorsomedial posterior arcuate of the Siberian hamster.

    PubMed

    Nilaweera, K N; Archer, Z A; Campbell, G; Mayer, C-D; Balik, A; Ross, A W; Mercer, J G; Ebling, F J P; Morgan, P J; Barrett, P

    2009-02-01

    The mechanism(s) involved in the regulation of the seasonal-appropriate body weight of the Siberian hamster are currently unknown. We have identified photoperiodically regulated genes including VGF in a sub-region of the arcuate nucleus termed the dorsomedial posterior arcuate (dmpARC). Gene expression changes in this nucleus so far account for a significant number of those reported as photoperiodically regulated and are therefore likely to contribute to seasonal physiological responses of the hamsters. The present study aimed to identify additional genes expressed in the dmpARC regulated by photoperiod that could be involved in regulating the activity of this nucleus with respect to seasonal physiology of the Siberian hamster. Using laser capture microdissection coupled with a microarray analysis and a candidate gene approach, we have identified several photoperiodically regulated genes in the dmpARC that are known to have roles in secretory and intracellular signalling pathways. These include secretogranin (sg) III and SgVI (secretory pathway), melanocortin 3 receptor (MC3-R) and serotonin (5-HT) receptors 2A and 7 (signalling pathway), all of which increase in expression under a short photoperiod. The spatial relationship between receptor signalling and potential secretory pathways was investigated by dual in situ hybridisation, which revealed that 5-HT2A and 5-HT7 receptors are expressed in neurones expressing VGF mRNA and that a sub-population (approximately 40%) of these neurones express MC3-R. These gene expression changes in dmpARC neurones may reflect the functional requirement of these neurones for seasonal physiological responses of the hamster.

  7. Photoperiodic growth control in perennial trees.

    PubMed

    Azeez, Abdul; Sane, Aniruddha P

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Photoperiodic growth control in perennial trees

    PubMed Central

    Azeez, Abdul; Sane, Aniruddha P

    2015-01-01

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

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1986-01-01

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

  14. 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

  15. Hormonal regulation of vasotocin receptor mRNA in a seasonally breeding songbird.

    PubMed

    Grozhik, Anya V; Horoszko, Christopher P; Horton, Brent M; Hu, Yuchen; Voisin, Dene A; Maney, Donna L

    2014-03-01

    Behaviors associated with breeding are seasonally modulated in a variety of species. These changes in behavior are mediated by sex steroids, levels of which likewise vary with season. The effects of androgens on behaviors associated with breeding may in turn be partly mediated by the nonapeptides vasopressin (VP) and oxytocin (OT) in mammals, and vasotocin (VT) in birds. The effects of testosterone (T) on production of these neuropeptides have been well-studied; however, the regulation of VT receptors by T is not well understood. In this study, we investigated steroid-dependent regulation of VT receptor (VTR) mRNA in a seasonally breeding songbird, the white-throated sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis). We focused on VTR subtypes that have been most strongly implicated in social behavior: V1a and oxytocin-like receptor (OTR). Using in situ hybridization, we show that T-treatment of non-breeding males altered V1a and OTR mRNA expression in several regions associated with seasonal reproductive behaviors. For example, T-treatment increased V1a mRNA expression in the medial preoptic area, bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, and ventromedial hypothalamus. T-treatment also affected both V1a and OTR mRNA expression in nuclei of the song system; some of these effects depended on the presence or absence of a chromosomal rearrangement that affects singing behavior, plasma T, and VT immunolabeling in this species. Overall, our results strengthen evidence that VT helps mediate the behavioral effects of T in songbirds, and suggest that the chromosomal rearrangement in this species may affect the sensitivity of the VT system to seasonal changes in T.

  16. Photoperiodic regulation of androgen receptor and steroid receptor coactivator-1 in Siberian hamster brain.

    PubMed

    Tetel, Marc J; Ungar, Todd C; Hassan, Brett; Bittman, Eric L

    2004-11-24

    Seasonal changes in the neuroendocrine actions of gonadal steroid hormones are triggered by fluctuations in daylength. The mechanisms responsible for photoperiodic influences upon the feedback and behavioral effects of testosterone in Siberian hamsters are poorly understood. We hypothesized that daylength regulates the expression of androgen receptor (AR) and/or steroid receptor coactivator-1 (SRC-1) in specific forebrain regions. Hamsters were castrated and implanted with either oil-filled capsules or low doses of testosterone; half of the animals remained in 16L/8D and the rest were kept in 10L/14D for the ensuing 70 days. The number of AR-immunoreactive (AR-ir) cells was regulated by testosterone in medial amygdala and caudal arcuate, and by photoperiod in the medial preoptic nucleus and the posterodorsal medial amygdala. A significant interaction between photoperiod and androgen treatment was found in medial preoptic nucleus and posterodorsal medial amygdala. The molecular weight and distribution of SRC-1 were similar to reports in other rodent species, and short days reduced the number of SRC-1-ir cells in posteromedial bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) and posterodorsal medial amygdala. A significant interaction between androgen treatment and daylength in regulation of SRC-1-ir was found in anterior medial amygdala. The present results indicate that daylength-induced fluctuations in SRC-1 and AR expression may contribute to seasonally changing effects of testosterone.

  17. Photoperiodic regulation of satiety mediating neuropeptides in the brainstem of the seasonal Siberian hamster (Phodopus sungorus).

    PubMed

    Helwig, Michael; Archer, Zoë A; Heldmaier, Gerhard; Tups, Alexander; Mercer, Julian G; Klingenspor, Martin

    2009-07-01

    Central regulation of energy balance in seasonal mammals such as the Siberian hamster is dependent on the precise integration of short-term satiety information arising from the gastrointestinal tract with long-term signals on the status of available energy reserves (e.g. leptin) and prevailing photoperiod. Within the central nervous system, the brainstem nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS) and the parabrachial nucleus (PBN) are major relay nuclei that transmit information from the gastrointestinal tract to higher forebrain centres. We extended studies on the seasonal programming of the hypothalamus to examine the effect of the photoperiod on neuropeptidergic circuitries of this gut-brain axis. In the NTS and PBN we performed gene expression and immunoreactivity (-ir) studies on selected satiety-related neuropeptides and receptors: alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone, melanocortin-3 receptor, melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4-R), growth hormone secretagogue-receptor, cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript, preproglucagon (PPG), glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1), cholecystokinin (CCK), peptide YY, galanin, neurotensin, and corticotrophin releasing hormone (CRH). Gene expression of PPG and MC4-R, and -ir of CCK and GLP-1, in the NTS were up-regulated after 14 weeks in long-day photoperiod (16 h light:8 h dark) compared to short-days (8 h light:16 h dark), whereas CRH-ir and NT-ir were increased in short-days within the PBN. We suggest that brainstem neuroendocrine mechanisms contribute to the long-term regulation of body mass in the Siberian hamster by a photoperiod-related modulation of satiety signalling.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

  1. 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

  2. A New Mechanism of Sound Generation in Songbirds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goller, Franz; Larsen, Ole N.

    1997-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

  4. Neural song control system of hummingbirds: comparison to swifts, vocal learning (Songbirds) and nonlearning (Suboscines) passerines, and vocal learning (Budgerigars) and nonlearning (Dove, owl, gull, quail, chicken) nonpasserines.

    PubMed

    Gahr, M

    2000-10-16

    Males of certain hummingbird species such as Anna's hummingbirds (Calypte anna) learn their song during postnatal development. Here we report that male Anna's hummingbirds and male Amazilia hummingbirds (Amazilia amazilia), two singing hummingbird species, possess forebrain areas that are similar in morphological appearance, location, and connectivity to the song control areas RA (nucleus robustus archistriatalis), HVC (nucleus hyperstriatalis ventrale, pars caudale, or higher vocal center), and LMAN (lateral part of nucleus mangnocellularis anterioris) of oscine passerines (songbirds). The vocal control areas of songbirds are further defined by the expression of androgen receptors. Similarly, the singing hummingbird species express androgen receptors in the LMAN-like area and in the HVC-like area. The hummingbird RA projects to the medullary syringeal motonucleus nXIIts (nucleus hypoglossus pars tracheosyringealis) and the respiratory premotonucleus RAm (nucleus retroambigualis). The HVC-, RA-, and LMAN-like areas are rudimentary in adult male ruby-throated hummingbirds (Archilochus colubris) and Allen's hummingbirds (Selasphorus sasin) and not distinguishable in female hummingbirds, none of which sing. Vocal-area-like forebrain areas (delineated by the cytoarchitecture or androgen receptor expression) were not found in vocal nonlearning swifts and suboscines, the taxonomic sister groups of hummingbirds and songbirds, respectively. These areas were also missing in owls, ring doves, gulls, and gallinaceous species, nonpasserines that do not learn vocalizations. Budgerigars (vocal learners) are known to have forebrain vocal areas, but these areas do not express sex steroid receptors. These data suggest that hummingbirds and songbirds belong to two groups of birds that have common forebrain circuits. Parts of this circuit are organized as nuclear-like structures (LMAN, HVC, RA) in species that learn to sing.

  5. Primate breeding season: photoperiodic regulation in captive Lemur catta.

    PubMed

    Van Horn, R N

    1975-01-01

    Under natural light in Portland, Oreg., captive ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) experience a breeding season that differs by nearly half a year from the season in Madagascar. A series of experimental day length changes from 1971 to 1974 demonstrated the ability of both temperate and tropical photoperiod cycles to induce estrous cycles in quiescent animals. After photoperiodic activation, most impregnated females failed to resume estrous cycles even after infant separations unless they received additional photoperiod changes. Unimpregnated females, on the other hand, showed no significant decline in the incidence of estrous cycles under prolonged exposure to a constant day length regimen (12.OL:12.OD) for over a year.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-01

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

  10. 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

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. 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

  14. Photoperiod-dependent modulation of cardiac excitation contraction coupling in the Siberian hamster.

    PubMed

    Dibb, K M; Hagarty, C L; Loudon, A S I; Trafford, A W

    2005-03-01

    In mammals, changes in photoperiod regulate a diverse array of physiological and behavioral processes, an example of which in the Siberian hamster (Phodopus sungorus) is the expression of bouts of daily torpor following prolonged exposure to a short photoperiod. During torpor, body temperature drops dramatically; however, unlike in nonhibernating or nontorpid species, the myocardium retains the ability to contract and is resistant to the development of arrhythmias. In the present study, we sought to determine whether exposure to a short photoperiod results in alterations to cardiac excitation-contraction coupling, thus potentially enabling the heart to survive periods of low temperature during torpor. Experiments were performed on single ventricular myocytes freshly isolated from the hearts of Siberian hamsters that had been exposed to either 12 wk of short-day lengths (SD) or 12 wk of long-day lengths (LD). In SD-acclimated animals, the amplitude of the systolic Ca(2+) transient was increased (e.g., from 142 +/- 17 nmol/l in LD to 229 +/- 31 nmol/l in SD at 4 Hz; P < 0.001). The increased Ca(2+) transient amplitude in the SD-acclimated animals was not associated with any change in the shape or duration of the action potential. However, sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+) content measured after current-clamp stimulation was increased in the SD-acclimated animals (at 4 Hz, 110 +/- 5 vs. 141 +/- 15 mumol/l, P < 0.05). We propose that short photoperiods reprogram the function of the cardiac sarcoplasmic reticulum, resulting in an increased Ca(2+) content, and that this may be a necessary precursor for maintenance of cardiac function during winter torpor.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-01

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

  16. 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

  17. Neuroendocrine control of photoperiodic changes in immune function.

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

    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.

  18. 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)

  19. Constant photoperiods and eggshell quality in broiler breeder pullets.

    PubMed

    Backhouse, D; Lewis, P D; Gous, R M

    2005-04-01

    Broiler breeder pullets were exposed to constant 10-, 11-, 12-, 13-, 14- or 16-h photoperiods from 3 d of age. Egg weight, eggshell weight and shell thickness index were determined at 52 weeks of age. Egg weight increased by 0.31 g, shell weight decreased by 30 mg and shell thickness index decreased by 0.57 mg/cm2 for each one-hour increase in photoperiod. Whilst the changes in egg weight and eggshell thickness index might be overstated because eggs were collected at the same chronological time, the effect of time of egg-laying within the day was minimal in comparison, and did not negate the conclusion that egg weight increases, and shell weight and thickness index decrease with lengthening photoperiods. The effect of photoperiod on eggshell quality was not due to differences in the rate of lay between treatments. Shell weight was unaffected by time of lay.

  20. Auditory Responses to Vocal Sounds in the Songbird Nucleus Taeniae of the Amygdala and the Adjacent Arcopallium.

    PubMed

    Fujii, Tomoko G; Ikebuchi, Maki; Okanoya, Kazuo

    2016-01-01

    Many species of animals communicate with others through vocalizations. Over time, these species have evolved mechanisms to respond to biologically relevant vocal sounds via adaptive behaviors. Songbirds provide a good opportunity to search for the neural basis of this adaptation, because they interact with others through a variety of vocalizations in complex social relationships. The nucleus taeniae of the amygdala (TnA) is a structure located in the ventromedial arcopallium, which is akin to the mammalian medial amygdala. Studies on the anatomy and function of this nucleus have led to the speculation that the TnA is one of the possible neural substrates that represents the relevance of acoustic stimuli related to behavior. However, neural responses in this nucleus to auditory stimuli have not been studied in depth. To give a detailed description about auditory responses of the TnA in the songbird, we conducted neural recordings from the TnA and the adjacent arcopallium in adult male and female Bengalese finches under anesthesia. The birds were exposed to auditory stimuli including natural vocalizations as well as synthesized noise. We demonstrated that a substantial population of neurons in the TnA and the adjacent arcopallium responded to vocal sounds and that some neurons were selectively activated to specific stimuli. Proportions of responsive cells and stimulus-selective cells were larger in males than in females. In addition, a larger ratio of selective cells was observed in the arcopallium compared to the TnA. These findings support the idea that neuronal activity in the TnA and the neighboring area represents behavioral relevance of sounds. Further studies in electrophysiology combined with evidence from other fields, such as region-specific gene expression patterns, are required to fully understand the functions of the TnA as well as the evolution of the amygdala in songbirds and vertebrate animals. PMID:27529803

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  2. Photoperiodic regulation of histamine H3 receptor and VGF messenger ribonucleic acid in the arcuate nucleus of the Siberian hamster.

    PubMed

    Barrett, Perry; Ross, Alexander W; Balik, Ales; Littlewood, Pauline A; Mercer, Julian G; Moar, Kim M; Sallmen, Tina; Kaslin, Jan; Panula, Pertti; Schuhler, Sandrine; Ebling, Francis J; Ubeaud, Caroline; Morgan, Peter J

    2005-04-01

    To survive winter the Siberian hamster has evolved profound physiological and behavioral adaptations, including a moult to winter pelage, regression of the reproductive axis, onset of daily torpor and increased capacity for thermogenesis. However, one of the most striking adaptations is the catabolism of intraabdominal and sc fat reserves contributing to the loss of up to 40% of body weight. These physiological and behavioral adaptations are photoperiodically driven, yet neither the site(s) in the brain nor the molecular mechanism(s) involved in the regulation of these profound adaptations is known. Here we report a dynamic regulation of gene expression in a dorsal region of the medial posterior area of the arcuate nucleus (dmpARC) of the Siberian and Syrian hamster brain in response to altered photoperiod. We show mRNA for the histamine H3 receptor is down-regulated and VGF is up-regulated in the dmpARC in hamsters switched from long- to short-day photoperiod. These data provide further evidence to support the view that the dmpARC is a major site to relay photoperiodic changes and as a site for the long-term regulation of seasonal physiology and behavior.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

    2012-12-01

    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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. How the songbird brain listens to its own songs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hahnloser, Richard

    2010-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Kuebrich, Benjamin; Sober, Samuel

    2014-01-01

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

  13. Migration and the evolution of duetting in songbirds

    PubMed Central

    Logue, David M.; Hall, Michelle L.

    2014-01-01

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

  14. Migration and the evolution of duetting in songbirds.

    PubMed

    Logue, David M; Hall, Michelle L

    2014-05-01

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

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-14

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

  18. Temperature-associated dynamics of songbird winter distributions and abundances.

    PubMed

    Butler, J Russell; MacMynowski, Dena P; Laurent, Chad; Root, Terry L

    2007-12-01

    Using Christmas Bird Count data, we analyze the annual spatio-temporal abundances of six passerine species in the upper Great Plains, US (1960-1990). This study provides new insight into how global warming could cause separation of species within present-day communities. We find that winter relative abundances of similarly-sized songbirds are differentially affected by ambient winter temperature. As such, average annual winter temperature fluctuations (i.e., severity of winter) are significantly (P < 0.05) correlated with the relative abundances of three species while the other three are not. Our conditional probability-of-occurrence analysis indicates that the abundances of the three temperature-associated species declined markedly below -4 degrees C while the abundances of the other three species fluctuated little from 8 degrees C to -16 degrees C. We conclude that even in colder climates i) the winter distributions of some, but not all, songbirds are directly or indirectly limited by temperature; and ii) these birds have dynamic abundances that can quickly respond to temperature changes.

  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. Constant photoperiods and sexual maturity in broiler breeder pullets.

    PubMed

    Lewis, P D; Backhouse, D; Gous, R M

    2004-08-01

    1. Broiler breeder pullets were maintained on 10-, 11-, 12-, 13-, 14- or 16-h photoperiods to determine the effect of constant photoperiods on sexual development in broiler breeders. The birds were fed to achieve a 2100 g body weight at approximately 17 or 20 weeks to see if the photosexual response was modified by rate of growth. 2. In both body weight groups, pullets maintained on 10h were the first to reach sexual maturity (50 eggs/100 bird-d), and these and the 11-h pullets matured significantly earlier than any of the other photoperiod groups. Pullets maintained on 13 or 14 h matured latest, at about 3 weeks after the 10-h pullets, though both were only marginally later than the 12- or 16-h birds. These differences in maturation probably reflect the different rates at which photorefractoriness is dissipated in broiler breeders reared on photoperiods that vary in their degree of stimulatory competence. 3. There were no significant interactions among the photoperiods and the ages at 2100 g; faster-growing birds consistently matured about 10 d earlier than conventionally grown pullets.

  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. Coincident light and clock regulation of pseudoresponse regulator protein 37 (PRR37) controls photoperiodic flowering in sorghum

    PubMed Central

    Murphy, Rebecca L.; Klein, Robert R.; Morishige, Daryl T.; Brady, Jeff A.; Rooney, William L.; Miller, Frederick R.; Dugas, Diana V.; Klein, Patricia E.; Mullet, John E.

    2011-01-01

    Optimal flowering time is critical to the success of modern agriculture. Sorghum is a short-day tropical species that exhibits substantial photoperiod sensitivity and delayed flowering in long days. Genotypes with reduced photoperiod sensitivity enabled sorghum's utilization as a grain crop in temperate zones worldwide. In the present study, Ma1, the major repressor of sorghum flowering in long days, was identified as the pseudoresponse regulator protein 37 (PRR37) through positional cloning and analysis of SbPRR37 alleles that modulate flowering time in grain and energy sorghum. Several allelic variants of SbPRR37 were identified in early flowering grain sorghum germplasm that contain unique loss-of-function mutations. We show that in long days SbPRR37 activates expression of the floral inhibitor CONSTANS and represses expression of the floral activators Early Heading Date 1, FLOWERING LOCUS T, Zea mays CENTRORADIALIS 8, and floral induction. Expression of SbPRR37 is light dependent and regulated by the circadian clock, with peaks of RNA abundance in the morning and evening in long days. In short days, the evening-phase expression of SbPRR37 does not occur due to darkness, allowing sorghum to flower in this photoperiod. This study provides insight into an external coincidence mechanism of photoperiodic regulation of flowering time mediated by PRR37 in the short-day grass sorghum and identifies important alleles of SbPRR37 that are critical for the utilization of this tropical grass in temperate zone grain and bioenergy production. PMID:21930910

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Ernst, Darcy K; Bentley, George E

    2016-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Grevstad, Fritzi S; Coop, Leonard B

    2015-09-01

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

  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 affects daily torpor and tissue fatty acid composition in deer mice.

    PubMed

    Geiser, Fritz; McAllan, B M; Kenagy, G J; Hiebert, Sara M

    2007-04-01

    Photoperiod and dietary lipids both influence thermal physiology and the pattern of torpor of heterothermic mammals. The aim of the present study was to test the hypothesis that photoperiod-induced physiological changes are linked to differences in tissue fatty acid composition of deer mice, Peromyscus maniculatus ( approximately 18-g body mass). Deer mice were acclimated for >8 weeks to one of three photoperiods (LD, light/dark): LD 8:16 (short photoperiod), LD 12:12 (equinox photoperiod), and LD 16:8 (long photoperiod). Deer mice under short and equinox photoperiods showed a greater occurrence of torpor than those under long photoperiods (71, 70, and 14%, respectively). The duration of torpor bouts was longest in deer mice under short photoperiod (9.3 +/- 2.6 h), intermediate under equinox photoperiod (5.1 +/- 0.3 h), and shortest under long photoperiod (3.7 +/- 0.6 h). Physiological differences in torpor use were associated with significant alterations of fatty acid composition in approximately 50% of the major fatty acids from leg muscle total lipids, whereas white adipose tissue fatty acid composition showed fewer changes. Our results provide the first evidence that physiological changes due to photoperiod exposure do result in changes in lipid composition in the muscle tissue of deer mice and suggest that these may play a role in survival of low body temperature and metabolic rate during torpor, thus, enhancing favourable energy balance over the course of the winter. PMID:17160415

  8. Photoperiod affects daily torpor and tissue fatty acid composition in deer mice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geiser, Fritz; McAllan, B. M.; Kenagy, G. J.; Hiebert, Sara M.

    2007-04-01

    Photoperiod and dietary lipids both influence thermal physiology and the pattern of torpor of heterothermic mammals. The aim of the present study was to test the hypothesis that photoperiod-induced physiological changes are linked to differences in tissue fatty acid composition of deer mice, Peromyscus maniculatus (˜18-g body mass). Deer mice were acclimated for >8 weeks to one of three photoperiods (LD, light/dark): LD 8:16 (short photoperiod), LD 12:12 (equinox photoperiod), and LD 16:8 (long photoperiod). Deer mice under short and equinox photoperiods showed a greater occurrence of torpor than those under long photoperiods (71, 70, and 14%, respectively). The duration of torpor bouts was longest in deer mice under short photoperiod (9.3 ± 2.6 h), intermediate under equinox photoperiod (5.1 ± 0.3 h), and shortest under long photoperiod (3.7 ± 0.6 h). Physiological differences in torpor use were associated with significant alterations of fatty acid composition in ˜50% of the major fatty acids from leg muscle total lipids, whereas white adipose tissue fatty acid composition showed fewer changes. Our results provide the first evidence that physiological changes due to photoperiod exposure do result in changes in lipid composition in the muscle tissue of deer mice and suggest that these may play a role in survival of low body temperature and metabolic rate during torpor, thus, enhancing favourable energy balance over the course of the winter.

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

    PubMed

    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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. 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

  20. Photoperiodic regulation of the orexigenic effects of ghrelin in Siberian hamsters.

    PubMed

    Bradley, Sean P; Pattullo, Lucia M; Patel, Priyesh N; Prendergast, Brian J

    2010-09-01

    Animals living in temperate climates with predictable seasonal changes in food availability may use seasonal information to engage different metabolic strategies. Siberian hamsters decrease costs of thermoregulation during winter by reducing food intake and body mass in response to decreasing or short-day lengths (SD). These experiments examined whether SD reduction in food intake in hamsters is driven, at least in part, by altered behavioral responses to ghrelin, a gut-derived orexigenic peptide which induces food intake via NPY-dependent mechanisms. Relative to hamsters housed in long-day (LD) photoperiods, SD hamsters consumed less food in response to i.p. treatment with ghrelin across a range of doses from 0.03 to 3 mg/kg. To determine whether changes in photoperiod alter behavioral responses to ghrelin-induced activation of NPY neurons, c-Fos and NPY expression were quantified in the arcuate nucleus (ARC) via double-label fluorescent immunocytochemistry following i.p. treatment with 0.3 mg/kg ghrelin or saline. Ghrelin induced c-Fos immunoreactivity (-ir) in a greater proportion of NPY-ir neurons of LD relative to SD hamsters. In addition, following ghrelin treatment, a greater proportion of ARC c-Fos-ir neurons were identifiable as NPY-ir in LD relative to SD hamsters. Changes in day length markedly alter the behavioral response to ghrelin. The data also identify photoperiod-induced changes in the ability of ghrelin to activate ARC NPY neurons as a possible mechanism by which changes in day length alter food intake.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-05-01

    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 I (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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  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. 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.

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-06-28

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

  8. 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

  9. Short photoperiod-induced decrease of histamine H3 receptors facilitates activation of hypothalamic neurons in the Siberian hamster.

    PubMed

    Barrett, P; van den Top, M; Wilson, D; Mercer, J G; Song, C K; Bartness, T J; Morgan, P J; Spanswick, D

    2009-08-01

    Nonhibernating seasonal mammals have adapted to temporal changes in food availability through behavioral and physiological mechanisms to store food and energy during times of predictable plenty and conserve energy during predicted shortage. Little is known, however, of the hypothalamic neuronal events that lead to a change in behavior or physiology. Here we show for the first time that a shift from long summer-like to short winter-like photoperiod, which induces physiological adaptation to winter in the Siberian hamster, including a body weight decrease of up to 30%, increases neuronal activity in the dorsomedial region of the arcuate nucleus (dmpARC) assessed by electrophysiological patch-clamping recording. Increased neuronal activity in short days is dependent on a photoperiod-driven down-regulation of H3 receptor expression and can be mimicked in long-day dmpARC neurons by the application of the H3 receptor antagonist, clobenproprit. Short-day activation of dmpARC neurons results in increased c-Fos expression. Tract tracing with the trans-synaptic retrograde tracer, pseudorabies virus, delivered into adipose tissue reveals a multisynaptic neuronal sympathetic outflow from dmpARC to white adipose tissue. These data strongly suggest that increased activity of dmpARC neurons, as a consequence of down-regulation of the histamine H3 receptor, contributes to the physiological adaptation of body weight regulation in seasonal photoperiod.

  10. Photoperiodic regulation of nuclear melatonin receptor RORα in lymphoid organs of a tropical rodent Funambulus pennanti: role in seasonal oxidative stress.

    PubMed

    Gupta, Sameer; Haldar, Chandana; Ahmad, Raise

    2015-01-01

    The orphan nuclear receptor RORα of RZR/ROR family has been suggested to mediate the genomic actions of melatonin on the expression of antioxidant enzymes. However, no direct evidences exist. In the present study we explored the role of photoperiod (natural and artificial) in regulation of RORα and its association with the photoperiod induced antioxidant defense system in the lymphoid organs (spleen and thymus) of seasonally breeding, tropical squirrels, Funambulus pennanti. The photoperiod mediated regulation of antioxidant status was checked along with the RORα expression and circulatory melatonin level in the squirrels. The enhancement of the antioxidant capacity of serum and lymphoid organ was concomitant with the short photoperiod (10L:14D) induced high levels of plasma melatonin. Further, peripheral melatonin level enhanced the AANAT activity as well as the melatonin synthesis in the lymphoid tissues. RORα expression presented an inverse correlation with the plasma level of melatonin as well as the short day induced antioxidant enzyme activity in the lymphoid organs. The results suggest that for reduction of seasonal oxidative stress melatonin might not be utilizing the nuclear receptor RORα pathway; rather the rise in circulatory melatonin collectively with tissue specific melatonin might be protecting the splenic and thymic lymphocytes from the seasonal oxidative stress.

  11. Conditional oxidative stress responses in the Arabidopsis photorespiratory mutant cat2 demonstrate that redox state is a key modulator of daylength-dependent gene expression, and define photoperiod as a crucial factor in the regulation of H2O2-induced cell death.

    PubMed

    Queval, Guillaume; Issakidis-Bourguet, Emmanuelle; Hoeberichts, Frank A; Vandorpe, Michaël; Gakière, Bertrand; Vanacker, Hélène; Miginiac-Maslow, Myroslawa; Van Breusegem, Frank; Noctor, Graham

    2007-11-01

    Photorespiration is a light-dependent source of H(2)O(2) in the peroxisomes, where concentrations of this signalling molecule are regulated by catalase. Growth of Arabidopsis knock-out mutants for CATALASE2 (cat2) in ambient air caused severely decreased rosette biomass, intracellular redox perturbation and activation of oxidative signalling pathways. These effects were absent when cat2 was grown at high CO(2) levels to inhibit photorespiration, but were re-established following a subsequent transfer to air. Growth of cat2 in air at different daylengths revealed that photoperiod is a critical determinant of the oxidative stress response. Decreased growth was observed in 8-h, 12-h and 16-h photoperiods, but lesion development was dependent on long days. Experiments at different light fluence rates showed that cell death in cat2 was linked to long days and not to total light exposure or the severity of oxidative stress. Perturbed intracellular redox state and oxidative signalling pathway induction were more prominent in short days than in long days, as evidenced by glutathione status and induction of defence genes and oxidative stress-responsive transcripts. Similar daylength-dependent effects were observed in the response of mature plants transferred from short days in high CO(2) conditions to ambient air conditions. Prior growth of plants with short days in air alleviated the cat2 cell-death phenotype in long days. Together, the data reveal the influence of photoperiodic events on redox signalling, and define distinct photoperiod-dependent strategies in the acclimation versus cell-death decision in stress conditions.

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

    PubMed

    Lee, T M; Zucker, I

    1988-11-01

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

  13. Photoperiodism: shall EYA compare thee to a summer's day?

    PubMed

    Hut, Roelof A

    2011-01-11

    Seasonal changes in day length are used by plants and animals to synchronize annual rhythms in reproduction, physiology, and behavior to the environment. Increasing day length during spring causes sudden changes in the mammalian reproductive system once the critical photoperiod is reached. The molecular mechanism behind this switch is now quickly being elucidated.

  14. Photoperiod modulates melanoma growth in C57BL/6 mice.

    PubMed

    Lang, Roland; Hintner, Helmut; Hermann, Anton; Brandstaetter, Roland

    2003-08-01

    Seasonal variations can be found in almost any parameter of an organism's biochemistry, physiology, endocrinology, and behaviour. This phenomenon, generally called photoperiodism, results from one of the major functions of the circadian system, i.e. the translation of environmental information into rhythmic intraorganismic signals, which then regulate or influence physiology and pathology. We induced melanoma in three groups of syngeneic C57BL/6 mice synchronised to different photoperiods (8, 12, or 18 h of light within 24-h days) by subcutaneous injections of HFH18 melanoma cell suspensions. All animals from all three photoperiodic groups developed exponentially growing tumors. The average tumor volume on day 31 post injection was significantly smaller in animals exposed to light/dark conditions (LD) 8 : 16 h as compared with animals held in LD 18 : 6 h and intermediate in animals from the equinox group. These results indicate that C57BL/6 mice react to photoperiod, which can exert a significant effect on tumor growth. PMID:12930310

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

    PubMed

    Lee, T M; Zucker, I

    1988-11-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. In the eye of the beholder: visual mate choice lateralization in a polymorphic songbird.

    PubMed

    Templeton, Jennifer J; Mountjoy, D James; Pryke, Sarah R; Griffith, Simon C

    2012-12-23

    Birds choose mates on the basis of colour, song and body size, but little is known about the mechanisms underlying these mating decisions. Reports that zebra finches prefer to view mates with the right eye during courtship, and that immediate early gene expression associated with courtship behaviour is lateralized in their left hemisphere suggest that visual mate choice itself may be lateralized. To test this hypothesis, we used the Gouldian finch, a polymorphic species in which individuals exhibit strong, adaptive visual preferences for mates of their own head colour. Black males were tested in a mate-choice apparatus under three eye conditions: left-monocular, right-monocular and binocular. We found that black male preference for black females is so strongly lateralized in the right-eye/left-hemisphere system that if the right eye is unavailable, males are unable to respond preferentially, not only to males and females of the same morph, but also to the strikingly dissimilar female morphs. Courtship singing is consistent with these lateralized mate preferences; more black males sing to black females when using their right eye than when using their left. Beauty, therefore, is in the right eye of the beholder for these songbirds, providing, to our knowledge, the first demonstration of visual mate choice lateralization.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  4. Absence of circadian and photoperiodic conservation of energy expenditure in three rodent species.

    PubMed

    Refinetti, R

    2007-04-01

    According to a traditional homeostatic view, living beings spend metabolic energy at a constant rate, just like a light bulb spends electrical energy, so that energy expenditure can be expressed in units of watts. However, research conducted during the last half-century has evinced pronounced circadian variation in physiological processes, not only demonstrating circadian rhythmicity in energy expenditure but also raising the hypothesis that energy expenditure may be regulated on a daily (circadian) basis rather than on a constant-rate (homeostatic) basis. In the present study, the hypothesis of circadian (and photoperiodic) conservation of energy expenditure was tested in three rodent species: domestic mice, Nile grass rats, and Syrian hamsters. Two correlates of energy expenditure (running-wheel activity and food intake) and a classic index (oxygen consumption) were used. Changes in energy expenditure were studied in animals maintained under light-dark cycles (LDs) with periods shorter or longer than 24 h as well as in animals maintained under 24-h LDs with short and long photophases. In none of the conditions in any of the species was evidence found in support of the hypothesis of circadian (or photoperiodic) conservation of energy expenditure. Energy expenditure was generally conserved on a homeostatic basis. PMID:17136546

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  6. The thyrotropin-releasing hormone secretory system in the hypothalamus of the Siberian hamster in long and short photoperiods.

    PubMed

    Ebling, F J P; Wilson, D; Wood, J; Hughes, D; Mercer, J G; Morgan, P J; Barrett, P

    2008-05-01

    Thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) is not only essential for the regulation of the pituitary-thyroid axis, but also exerts complementary effects on energy metabolism within the brain. We hypothesised that increased activity of the TRH secretory system may contribute to seasonal adaptations in the Siberian hamster whereby food intake is decreased in winter, and catabolism of fat stores is increased to support thermogenesis. We determined the distribution of TRH producing neurones and TRH-R1 receptor expressing cells in the hypothalamus, and investigated whether photoperiod regulated this system. TRH-immunoreactive (ir) cell somata and preproTRH mRNA expression were found to be widely distributed throughout the medial hypothalamus, with particular clusters in the paraventricular nucleus, the medial preoptic area and periventricular nucleus, and in the dorsomedial hypothalamus extending into the lateral hypothalamic area. A partial sequence encoding TRH-R1 was cloned from hamster hypothalamic cDNA and used to generate a riboprobe for in situ hybridisation studies. TRH-R1 mRNA expressing cells were abundant throughout the hypothalamus, corresponding to the widespread presence of TRH-ir fibres. Photoperiod did not affect the expression of preproTRH mRNA in any region, and the only significant change in TRH-R1 expression was in the dorsomedial posterior arcuate region. This wide distribution of TRH-producing and receptive cells in the hypothalamus is consistent with its hypothesised neuromodulatory roles in the short-term homeostatic control of appetite, thermoregulation and energy expenditure, but the lack of photoperiodic change in TRH mRNA expression does not support the hypothesis that changes in this system underlie long-term seasonal changes in body weight.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Chilling outweighs photoperiod in preventing precocious spring development.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  11. Maternal Photoperiodic History Affects Offspring Development in Syrian Hamsters

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-22

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

  15. Interspecific social networks promote information transmission in wild songbirds

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Bilateral syringeal coupling during phonation of a songbird.

    PubMed

    Nowicki, S; Capranica, R R

    1986-12-01

    The syrinx of oscine birds ("true songbirds") is a double vocal organ, and each side has generally been presumed to function independently under separate neural control during phonation. A significant counterexample is demonstrated here in the production of a common vocalization by the black-capped chickadee (Parus atricapillus), in which the 2 acoustic sources of the syrinx interact in a nonlinear fashion. The chickadee produces a sound with multiple frequency components that superficially resemble harmonics. An analysis of vocal production after unilateral and bilateral syringeal denervation shows instead that these frequency components are sum and difference frequencies, or heterodyne frequencies, resulting from cross-modulation between the 2 syringeal sides. A limited form of this bilateral coupling may be achieved after unilateral denervation of either syringeal side but not after bilateral denervation. Unilaterally denervated birds are capable of significant improvement in coupling after 10 d, too short a period for neural regrowth. These results suggest that coupling arises from a passive physical interaction between the 2 syringeal sources which is activated or regulated in some fashion by neural control from either side.

  17. Climatic patterns predict the elaboration of song displays in songbirds

    PubMed Central

    Botero, Carlos A.; Boogert, Neeltje J.; Vehrencamp, Sandra L.; Lovette, Irby J.

    2012-01-01

    Summary Climatic variability and unpredictability [1] affect the distribution and abundance of resources and the timing and duration of breeding opportunities. In vertebrates, climatic variability selects for enhanced cognition when organisms compensate for environmental changes through learning and innovation [2–5]. This hypothesis is supported by larger brain sizes [6], higher foraging innovation rates [7–9], higher reproductive flexibility [10–12], and higher sociality [13] in species living in more variable climates. Male songbirds sing to attract females and repel rivals [14]. Given the reliance of these displays on learning and innovation, we hypothesized that they could also be affected by climatic patterns. Here we show that in the mockingbird family (Aves: Mimidae), species subject to more variable and unpredictable climates have more elaborate song displays. We discuss two potential mechanisms for this result, both of which acknowledge that the complexity of song displays is largely driven by sexual selection [15, 16]. First, stronger selection in more variable and unpredictable climates could lead to the elaboration of signals of quality [14, 17–20]. Alternatively, selection for enhanced learning and innovation in more variable and unpredictable climates might lead to the evolution of signals of intelligence in the context of mate attraction [14, 21–23]. PMID:19464180

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

    PubMed Central

    Westkott, Maren; Pawelzik, Klaus R.

    2016-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. Audience drives male songbird response to partner's voice.

    PubMed

    Vignal, Clémentine; Mathevon, Nicolas; Mottin, Stéphane

    2004-07-22

    According to the social intelligence hypothesis, social context represents an important force driving the selection of animal cognitive abilities such as the capacity to estimate the nature of the social relationships between other individuals. Despite this importance, the influence of this force has been assessed only in primates and never in other animals showing social interactions. In this way, avian communication generally takes place in a network of signallers and receivers, which represents an audience altering individual signalling behaviours. Indeed, vocal amplitude and repertoire are known to be socially regulated and the attitude towards the opposite sex may change depending on the audience. This 'audience effect' provides support for the reality of social awareness in some bird species. However no evidence has yet been found to suggest that birds are able to estimate the characteristics of the social relationships between group-mates. Here we show that the male of a gregarious songbird species--the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata)--pays attention to the mating status of conspecific pairs, and uses this information to control its behaviour towards its female partner.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2001-08-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Schmidt, Marc F.

    2011-01-01

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

  7. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Songbird diversity along an urban powerline right-of-way in Rhode Island

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geibert, Edward H.

    1980-05-01

    The potential of powerline rights-of-way to provide songbird habitat in an urbanizing environment was assessed over a 7-month.period. Comparisons of species richness and total number of birds observed were made with a nearby residential development. The right-of-way, for 7 years free from herbicide manipulation, exhibited a greater number of species (but fewer individuals) and higher bird species diversity (BSD) than the residential area. The importance of mixed-shrub communities for the provision of niches for songbirds was demonstrated by increased BSD in residential vacant lots and sections of the right-of-way containing a variety of vegetative profiles. Recommendations are presented on right-of-way vegetation management to enhance songbird utilization.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Skeleton photoperiods alter delayed-type hypersensitivity responses and reproductive function of Siberian hamsters (Phodopus sungorus).

    PubMed

    Gatien, M L; Hotchkiss, A K; Dhabhar, F S; Nelson, R J

    2005-11-01

    Photoperiod (day length) can modulate immune function. Whether these photoperiodic effects on immune function are mediated directly by a circadian photoperiodic time measurement system or indirectly by nonspecific (e.g. stressful) effects of light is unknown. To discriminate between these two possibilities, Siberian hamsters (Phodopus sungorus) were housed in either long or short photoperiods (LD 16 : 8 h or LD 8 : 16 h) or in 'skeleton' long or short photoperiods (LD 1 : 14 h: LD 1 : 8 h or LD 1 : 6 h: LD 1 : 16 h). In the skeleton photoperiods, both long- and short-day animals received 2 h of light per day. After 10 weeks in their respective photoperiods, hamsters were tested for an antigen specific immune response using a delayed type hypersensitivity (DTH) model. Reproductive and endocrine responses of hamsters in each of the skeleton photoperiods were equivalent to those in standard long or short days, respectively. Hamsters in skeleton short days and LD 8 : 16 increased DTH responses compared to hamsters in both long-day groups. DTH responses were equivalent in both long-day groups. These results suggest that the influences of day length on immune function potentially are due to circadian photoperiodic time measurement systems.

  18. 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.

  19. Photoperiod affects distribution of dynorphin A in the brain of Siberian hamster.

    PubMed

    Meyza, Ksenia Z; Sotowska-Brochocka, Jolanta

    2006-01-01

    Dynorphin A1-77 (DYN A1-17) acting in the CNS is known to affect thermoregulation, water and energy balance in the short time scale. In this study a long-term alteration of these functions induced by changes of day length in the highly photoperiodic species, the Siberian hamster (Phodopus sungorus) was studied using immunohistochemistry for DYN A1-17. We found that in the long day (LD, L:D 16 h:8 h) more brain areas express DYN A1-17 peptide than in the short day (SD, L:D 8 h:16 h) conditions. Structures of the hypothalamo-pituitary axis as well as cells of the ependyma, subcomissural organ and choroid plexus of the lateral and third brain ventricles are immunoreactive to anti-dynorphin IgG only in the LD. This might indicate a seasonal regulatory role of DYN A1-17 in physiological adaptations to severe climate changes.

  20. 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

  1. Effects of photoperiod on kisspeptin neuronal populations of the ewe diencephalon in connection with reproductive function.

    PubMed

    Chalivoix, S; Bagnolini, A; Caraty, A; Cognié, J; Malpaux, B; Dufourny, L

    2010-02-01

    Kisspeptin (Kiss) is a key regulator of reproductive function in both prepubertal and adult mammals. Its expression appears to vary throughout the year in seasonal species. We aimed to determine the impact of a change of photoperiod on the size of Kiss neuronal populations found in the preoptic area (POA) and arcuate nucleus (ARC) of the ewe brain. Using immunocytochemistry, we first examined the proportion of neurones expressing Kiss, using HuC/D as a neuronal marker, at different time-points after transition from long days (LD; 16 : 8 h light/dark cycle) to short days (SD; 8 : 16 h light/dark cycle). Luteinising hormone (LH) secretion was measured in ovariectomised oestradiol replaced ewes from the month preceding the transition to SD until the sacrifice of the animals at days 0, 45 and 112 from this photoperiodic transition. High LH levels were only observed in animals killed at day 112. The number of Kiss neurones/mm(2) doubled in the caudal ARC at day 112. The percentage of neurones showing Kiss immunoreactivity increased significantly in both the POA and ARC in the day 112 group. In a second experiment, ewes kept in LD received an i.c.v. injection of colchicine 20 h before sacrifice. Colchicine treatment increased the number and the percentage of neurones with Kiss in both the POA and caudal ARC. The data obtained suggest that the increase in Kiss neurones detected in the POA and caudal ARC after transition to SD stemmed from an increase in Kiss synthesis. This up-regulation of Kiss content under the shorter day condition appears to be a late event within the cascade activated by a longer secretion of melatonin, which is a critical factor in switching gonadotrophin-releasing hormone secretion to a breeding season profile.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Pattern-Induced Covert Category Learning in Songbirds.

    PubMed

    Comins, Jordan A; Gentner, Timothy Q

    2015-07-20

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

  6. 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.

  7. Pattern-Induced Covert Category Learning in Songbirds.

    PubMed

    Comins, Jordan A; Gentner, Timothy Q

    2015-07-20

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

  8. 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.

  9. RNA Interference of Gonadotropin-Inhibitory Hormone Gene Induces Arousal in Songbirds

    PubMed Central

    Ubuka, Takayoshi; Mukai, Motoko; Wolfe, Jordan; Beverly, Ryan; Clegg, Sarah; Wang, Ariel; Hsia, Serena; Li, Molly; Krause, Jesse S.; Mizuno, Takanobu; Fukuda, Yujiro; Tsutsui, Kazuyoshi; Bentley, George E.; Wingfield, John C.

    2012-01-01

    Gonadotropin-inhibitory hormone (GnIH) was originally identified in quail as a hypothalamic neuropeptide inhibitor of pituitary gonadotropin synthesis and release. However, GnIH neuronal fibers do not only terminate in the median eminence to control anterior pituitary function but also extend widely in the brain, suggesting it has multiple roles in the regulation of behavior. To identify the role of GnIH neurons in the regulation of behavior, we investigated the effect of RNA interference (RNAi) of the GnIH gene on the behavior of white-crowned sparrows, a highly social songbird species. Administration of small interfering RNA against GnIH precursor mRNA into the third ventricle of male and female birds reduced resting time, spontaneous production of complex vocalizations, and stimulated brief agonistic vocalizations. GnIH RNAi further enhanced song production of short duration in male birds when they were challenged by playbacks of novel male songs. These behaviors resembled those of breeding birds during territorial defense. The overall results suggest that GnIH gene silencing induces arousal. In addition, the activities of male and female birds were negatively correlated with GnIH mRNA expression in the paraventricular nucleus. Density of GnIH neuronal fibers in the ventral tegmental area was decreased by GnIH RNAi treatment in female birds, and the number of gonadotropin-releasing hormone neurons that received close appositions of GnIH neuronal fiber terminals was negatively correlated with the activity of male birds. In summary, GnIH may decrease arousal level resulting in the inhibition of specific motivated behavior such as in reproductive contexts. PMID:22279571

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-11-01

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

  11. 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...

  12. 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,…

  13. Vocal Experimentation in the Juvenile Songbird Requires a Basal Ganglia Circuit

    PubMed Central

    2005-01-01

    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. PMID:15826219

  14. A role for migration-linked genes and genomic islands in divergence of a songbird.

    PubMed

    Ruegg, Kristen; Anderson, Eric C; Boone, Jason; Pouls, Jazz; Smith, Thomas B

    2014-10-01

    Next-generation sequencing has made it possible to begin asking questions about the process of divergence at the level of the genome. For example, recently, there has been a debate around the role of 'genomic islands of divergence' (i.e. blocks of outlier loci) in facilitating the process of speciation-with-gene-flow. The Swainson's thrush, Catharus ustulatus, is a migratory songbird with two genetically distinct subspecies that differ in a number of traits known to be involved in reproductive isolation in birds (plumage coloration, song and migratory behaviour), despite contemporary gene flow along a secondary contact zone. Here, we use RAD-PE sequencing to test emerging hypotheses about the process of divergence at the level of the genome and identify genes and gene regions involved in differentiation in this migratory songbird. Our analyses revealed distinct genomic islands on 15 of the 23 chromosomes and an accelerated rate of divergence on the Z chromosome, one of the avian sex chromosomes. Further, an analysis of loci linked to traits known to be involved in reproductive isolation in songbirds showed that genes linked to migration are significantly more differentiated than expected by chance, but that these genes lie primarily outside the genomic islands. Overall, our analysis supports the idea that genes linked to migration play an important role in divergence in migratory songbirds, but we find no compelling evidence that the observed genomic islands are facilitating adaptive divergence in migratory behaviour.

  15. Influence of light and photoperiodicity on pig prolificacy.

    PubMed

    Claus, R; Weiler, U

    1985-01-01

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

  16. 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 ...

  17. 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.

  18. The Siberian hamster as a model for study of the mammalian photoperiodic mechanism.

    PubMed

    Goldman, B D

    1999-01-01

    The Siberian hamster has been a useful model for studies of mammalian photoperiodism for a number of reasons: 1) Siberian hamsters are hardy animals that are easily maintained and bred in the laboratory. 2) The species exhibits a large number of seasonal, photoperiod-driven, pineal-dependent responses. Thus, the Siberian hamster is an excellent species in which to examine whether several different types of photoperiod responses share similar mechanistic features with respect to their control by MEL. Are all the responses cued to the duration of the nocturnal MEL peak? Does MEL act at a single site to influence all the types of responses, or are there separate MEL target sites for different responses? 3) Juvenile Siberian hamsters exhibit an unusually rapid (for mammals) response to photoperiod change or to MEL treatments, making them ideal subjects for certain types of photoperiod-related studies. 4) Populations of Siberian hamsters show individual variations in photoperiod responsiveness, and the differences are at least partly heritable. These hamsters also exhibit strong influences of environmental history on short day responsiveness. Thus, the species may be a valuable model for the investigation of both genetic and environmental influences on the photoperiodic mechanism. 5) Siberian hamsters have proved to be useful animals in which to study maternal influences on the developing photoperiodic mechanism of the fetus.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

  1. Dopamine D3 receptors modulate the rate of neuronal recovery, cell recruitment in Area X, and song tempo after neurotoxic damage in songbirds.

    PubMed

    Lukacova, Kristina; Pavukova, Eva; Kostal, Lubor; Bilcik, Boris; Kubikova, Lubica

    2016-09-01

    Songbirds, like humans, learn vocalizations and their striatum recruits new neurons in adulthood. Injury in striatal vocal nucleus Area X, involved in song learning and production in songbirds, is followed by massive regeneration. The newborn neurons arise from the subventricular zone (SVZ) rich in dopamine D3 receptors (D3Rs). The aim of this study was to investigate whether the D3Rs affect the rate of neuronal recovery in Area X. Male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) received bilateral neurotoxic lesion of Area X and were implanted with osmotic minipumps containing D3R agonist 7-OH-DPAT, antagonist U99194, or saline. Treatment with 7-OH-DPAT but not U99194 led to significant reduction of lesion size and increased numbers of migrating neuroblasts and newborn cells in the Area X. These cells were detected in the lesion border as well as the lesion center. Lesion also led to increased mRNA expression of the D3Rs in the neurogenic SVZ and in the nucleus robustus arcopallialis (RA) involved in song production. Moreover, lesion alone prolonged the song duration and this may be facilitated by D3Rs in RA. Parallel lesion and stimulation of D3Rs prolonged it even more, while blocking of D3Rs abolished the lesion-induced effect. These data suggest that D3R stimulation after striatal injury accelerates the striatal recovery and can cause behavioral alterations.

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

    PubMed Central

    Bradley, Sean P.; Prendergast, Brian J.

    2014-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. The Pea GIGAS Gene Is a FLOWERING LOCUS T Homolog Necessary for Graft-Transmissible Specification of Flowering but Not for Responsiveness to Photoperiod[C][W

    PubMed Central

    Hecht, Valérie; Laurie, Rebecca E.; Vander Schoor, Jacqueline K.; Ridge, Stephen; Knowles, Claire L.; Liew, Lim Chee; Sussmilch, Frances C.; Murfet, Ian C.; Macknight, Richard C.; Weller, James L.

    2011-01-01

    Garden pea (Pisum sativum) was prominent in early studies investigating the genetic control of flowering and the role of mobile flowering signals. In view of recent evidence that genes in the FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) family play an important role in generating mobile flowering signals, we isolated the FT gene family in pea and examined the regulation and function of its members. Comparison with Medicago truncatula and soybean (Glycine max) provides evidence of three ancient subclades (FTa, FTb, and FTc) likely to be common to most crop and model legumes. Pea FT genes show distinctly different expression patterns with respect to developmental timing, tissue specificity, and response to photoperiod and differ in their activity in transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana, suggesting they may have different functions. We show that the pea FTa1 gene corresponds to the GIGAS locus, which is essential for flowering under long-day conditions and promotes flowering under short-day conditions but is not required for photoperiod responsiveness. Grafting, expression, and double mutant analyses show that GIGAS/FTa1 regulates a mobile flowering stimulus but also provide clear evidence for a second mobile flowering stimulus that is correlated with expression of FTb2 in leaf tissue. These results suggest that induction of flowering by photoperiod in pea results from interactions among several members of a diversified FT family. PMID:21282524

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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. PMID:25492585

  11. Ahemeral light regimens test the photoperiodic threshold of the european starling (Sturnus vulgaris)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwab, R. G.

    1980-03-01

    Male European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) were held for three consecutive photoperiod oscillations (ahemeral years) composed of 30-h day lengths, i.e., the “daily” light and dark each lasted three hours longer than under the natural daily photoperiod at latitude 38°N. These starlings had no gonad metamorphosis during the 45 actual months necessary to complete the three ahemeral photoperiod oscillations; nor did subsequent exposure to continuous illumination elicit gonad response. It is concluded that the daily duration of light and darkness (although certainly operant in controlling starling sexual cycles under temperate-zone photoperiod oscillations) is not the critical factor establishing a sexual cycle under the ahemeral regimen. Rather, it appears that this species must experience a daily duration of light of 12 hours or less (a definitive photoperiodic threshold) before photo-induction of a sexual cycle is possible.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Physiological correlates of urbanization in a desert songbird.

    PubMed

    Giraudeau, Mathieu; McGraw, Kevin J

    2014-10-01

    Rapid worldwide urbanization is creating novel environments to which animals must adapt, a topic of growing interest for biologists. Studies of how organisms are affected by cities historically centered on large-scale censusing of populations, but recent investigations have considered finer-scaled, urban-rural differences among individuals and species in their behavior, morphology, and physiology, specifically as they relate to urban stress. A number of factors (e.g., corticosterone (CORT)-related stress response) may contribute to the degree of stress experienced by animals living under urban versus natural conditions, but several physiological variables have yet to be considered together in a large-scale assessment. Here, in a widespread species of desert passerine (the house finch, Haemorhous mexicanus), we quantified variation in plasma oxidative stress, plasma concentrations of vitamins and carotenoids, and body-mass of males in three successive seasons (winter, spring, and late summer/early fall) along an urban-rural gradient in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. We found that degree of urbanization was: (1) negatively related to circulating vitamin A concentrations in winter, (2) positively correlated with body-mass during spring, and (3) negatively associated with plasma concentrations of two carotenoids: zeaxanthin (during breeding) and 3-hydroxy-echinenone (3HE) (during molting). The striking link between 3HE levels and urbanization is consistent with previous research showing that urban songbirds have lower carotenoid levels and faded plumage; our finding is the first to implicate specific effects on a metabolically derived carotenoid for coloration. The fact that we observed only season-specific links between urbanization and indicators of quality in finches suggests that (at least for these metrics) there are no strong, lasting urban pressures imposed on finch physiology over the year. Interestingly, we found that a metric of plasma oxidative stress (lipid

  15. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Randall, Walter

    1993-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-10-22

    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.

  18. 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. PMID:23770215

  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. Conservation of the photoperiodic neuroendocrine axis among vertebrates: evidence from the teleost fish, Gasterosteus aculeatus

    PubMed Central

    O’Brien, Conor S.; Bourdo, Ryan; Bradshaw, William E.; Holzapfel, Christina M.; Cresko, William. A.

    2012-01-01

    Photoperiod, or length of day, has a predictable annual cycle, making it an important cue for the timing of seasonal behavior and development in many organisms. Photoperiod is widely used among temperate and polar animals to regulate the timing of sexual maturation. The proper sensing and interpretation of photoperiod can be tightly tied to an organism’s overall fitness. In photoperiodic mammals and birds the thyroid hormone pathway initiates sexual maturation, but the degree to which this pathway is conserved across other vertebrates is not well known. We use the threespine stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus, as a representative teleost to quantify the photoperiodic response of key genes in the thyroid hormone pathway under controlled laboratory conditions. We find that the photoperiodic responses of the hormones are largely consistent amongst multiple populations, although differences suggest physiological adaptation to various climates. We conclude that the thyroid hormone pathway initiates sexual maturation in response to photoperiod in G. aculeatus, and our results show that more components of this pathway are conserved among mammals, birds, and teleost fish than was previously known. However, additional endocrinology, cell biology and molecular research will be required to define precisely which aspects of the pathway are conserved across vertebrates. PMID:22504272

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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. PMID:27029864

  4. 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.

  5. Reproductive responses to photoperiod persist in olfactory bulbectomized Siberian hamsters (Phodopus sungorus).

    PubMed

    Prendergast, Brian J; Pyter, Leah M; Galang, Jerome; Kay, Leslie M

    2009-03-01

    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.

  6. Identifying yield-optimizing environments for two cowpea breeding lines by manipulating photoperiod and harvest scenario

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ohler, T. A.; Mitchell, C. A.

    1996-01-01

    Photoperiod and harvest scenario of cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L. Walp) canopies were manipulated to optimize productivity for use in future controlled ecological life-support systems. Productivity was measured by edible yield rate (EYR:g m-2 day-1), shoot harvest index (SHI: g edible biomass [g total shoot dry weight]), and yield-efficiency rate (YER:g edible biomass m-2 day-1 per[g nonedible shoot dry weight]). Breeding lines 'IT84S-2246' (S-2246) and "IT82D-889' (D-889) were grown in a greenhouse under 8-, 12-, or 24-h photoperiods. S-2246 was short-day and D-889 was day-neutral for flowering. Under each photoperiod, cowpeas were harvested either for leaves only, seeds only, or leaves plus seeds (mixed harvest). Photoperiod did not affect EYR of either breeding line for any harvest scenario tested. Averaged over both breeding lines, seed harvest gave the highest EYR at 6.7 g m-2 day-1. The highest SHI (65%) and YER (94 mg m-2 day-1 g-1) were achieved for leaf-only harvest of D-889 under an 8-h photoperiod. For leaf-only harvest of S-2246, both SHI and YER increased with increasing photoperiod, but declined for seed-only and mixed harvests. However, photoperiod had no effect on SHI or YER for D-889 for any harvest scenario. A second experiment utilized the short-day cowpea breeding line 'IT89KD-288' (D-288) and the day-neutral breeding line 'IT87D-941-1' (D-941) to compare yield parameters using photoperiod extension under differing lamp types. This experiment confirmed the photoperiod responses of D-889 and S-2246 to a mixed-harvest scenario and indicated that daylength extension with higher irradiance from high pressure sodium lamps further suppressed EYR, SHI, and YER of the short-day breeding line D-288.

  7. Diet-dependent switch from circadian to hourglass-like operation of an insect photoperiodic clock.

    PubMed

    Dumortier, B; Brunnarius, J

    1989-01-01

    The results of resonance experiments gave evidence that circadian organization was involved in photoperiodic diapause induction of Pieris brassicae. However, giving the larvae an artificial diet instead of the host plant deeply altered the resonance effect and led to a response that could be accounted for by the operation of a noncircadian timer (hourglass). This important change, however, had no effect on the insect's ability to discriminate between short- and long-day 24-hr cycles. Thus, it is possible via the metabolism to switch the photoperiodic mechanism to a circadian or an hourglass-like mode of operation without impairing the photoperiodic time measurement.

  8. Climate change-driven species' range shifts filtered by photoperiodism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saikkonen, Kari; Taulavuori, Kari; Hyvönen, Terho; Gundel, Pedro E.; Hamilton, Cyd E.; Vänninen, Irene; Nissinen, Anne; Helander, Marjo

    2012-04-01

    Forecasts of species range shifts as a result of climate change are essential, because invasions by exotic species shape biodiversity and therefore ecosystem functions and services. Ecologists have focused on propagule pressure (for example, the number of individuals and invasion events), the characteristics of an invading species, and its new abiotic and biotic environment to predict the likelihood of range expansion and invasion. Here, we emphasize the role of photoperiodic response on the range expansion of species. Unlike temperature, the latitudinal gradient of seasonal changes in day length is a stable, abiotic environmental factor that does not change with local or global climate. Predicting range expansions across latitudes and the subsequent consequences for native communities requires a more comprehensive understanding of how species use day length to coordinate seasonal growth, reproduction, physiology and synchronization of life cycles with interacting individuals and species.

  9. The thalamic intergeniculate leaflet modulates photoperiod responsiveness in Siberian hamsters.

    PubMed

    Freeman, David A; Dhandapani, Krishnan M; Goldman, Bruce D

    2004-11-26

    Siberian hamsters are seasonal breeders that use changes in day length to synchronize their reproductive effort with those times of the year most favorable for successful reproduction. The ability of Siberian hamsters to measure and respond to changes in day length depends upon accurate photoentrainment of the circadian clock in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of the hypothalamus. Two pathways have been characterized through which entraining stimuli reach the SCN: the retinohypothalamic tract (RHT), which transmits light information from the retinae, and the geniculohypothalamic tract (GHT) from the intergeniculate leaflet of the thalamus (IGL), which is involved in transmitting both photic and nonphotic cues. Ablating the IGL/GHT results in only modest alterations in entrainment to static day lengths and fails to interfere with seasonal responses induced by transfer from static long day to static short day lengths. Because several studies suggest that the IGL may be involved in tracking the time of dusk and dawn, we sought to determine whether an intact IGL is necessary for hamsters to respond to a simulated natural photoperiod (SNP) in which the time of dusk and dawn gradually changes in a pattern approximating the rate of change in day length that occurs during autumn at the latitude this species inhabits in nature. The results indicate that neurochemical lesions of the IGL alter both the pattern of circadian entrainment and photoperiodic responsiveness of Siberian hamsters to an SNP. Both intact and IGL-lesioned hamsters exhibited testicular regression in shortening day lengths, but only IGL-intact hamsters exhibited seasonal pelage molt.

  10. Songbird frequency selectivity and temporal resolution vary with sex and season

    PubMed Central

    Gall, Megan D.; Salameh, Therese S.; Lucas, Jeffrey R.

    2013-01-01

    Many species of songbirds exhibit dramatic seasonal variation in song output. Recent evidence suggests that seasonal changes in auditory processing are coincident with seasonal variation in vocal output. Here, we show, for the first time, that frequency selectivity and temporal resolution of the songbird auditory periphery change seasonally and in a sex-specific manner. Male and female house sparrows (Passer domesticus) did not differ in their frequency sensitivity during the non-breeding season, nor did they differ in their temporal resolution. By contrast, female house sparrows showed enhanced frequency selectivity during the breeding season, which was matched by a concomitant reduction of temporal resolution. However, males failed to show seasonal plasticity in either of these auditory properties. We discuss potential mechanisms generating these seasonal patterns and the implications of sex-specific seasonal changes in auditory processing for vocal communication. PMID:23193125

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    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 clock6,7 while in the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii the homolog gene CrGBSS is controlled by photoperiod and circadian signals.8,9 In a recent paper10 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. PMID:26039474

  15. 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.

  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. PMID:26039474

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Immediate early gene response to hearing song correlates with receptive behavior and depends on dialect in a female songbird.

    PubMed

    Maney, D L; MacDougall-Shackleton, E A; MacDougall-Shackleton, S A; Ball, G F; Hahn, T P

    2003-09-01

    Stimulus-induced expression of the immediate early gene ZENK (egr-1) in the songbird's auditory forebrain presumably depends on the behavioral significance of the stimulus. Few studies, however, have quantified both the ZENK and behavioral responses to a stimulus in the same individuals. We played conspecific male song of either hatch (local) or foreign dialect to female white-crowned sparrows (Zonotrichia leucophrys oriantha) and quantified both the auditory ZENK response and their behavioral response, which is known to depend on dialect. Birds hearing hatch dialect showed greater ZENK induction in the caudomedial hyperstriatum ventrale and the dorsal portion of the caudomedial neostriatum than birds hearing foreign dialect, supporting previous work showing a relationship between ZENK and salience of the stimulus. In the dorsal portion of the caudomedial neostriatum, ZENK induction was correlated with the amount of non-vocal courtship behavior; however, in the caudomedial hyperstriatum ventrale, ZENK induction was more highly correlated with the females' own vocal behavior and thus may have been partly self-induced. Some females sang and showed a male-like pattern of ZENK induction in their song systems. This study provides the first evidence that the ZENK response in a sensory area to a social stimulus is proportional to the animal's preference for the stimulus.

  20. Neurochemical Organization and Experience-Dependent Activation of Estrogen-Associated Circuits in the Songbird Auditory Forebrain

    PubMed Central

    Jeong, Jin Kwon; Burrows, Kaiping; Tremere, Liisa A.; Pinaud, Raphael

    2011-01-01

    The classic steroid hormone estradiol is rapidly produced by central auditory neurons in the songbird brain and instantaneously modulates auditory coding to enhance the neural and behavioral discrimination of acoustic signals. Although these recent advances highlight novel roles for estradiol in the regulation of central auditory processing, current knowledge on the functional and neurochemical organization of estrogen-associated circuits, as well as the impact of sensory experience in these auditory forebrain networks, remains very limited. Here we show that both estrogen-producing and -sensitive neurons are highly expressed in the caudomedial nidopallium (NCM), the zebra finch analog of the mammalian auditory association cortex, but not other auditory forebrain areas. We further demonstrate that auditory experience primarily engages estrogen-producing, and to a lesser extent, estrogen-responsive neurons in NCM, that these neuronal populations moderately overlap, and that acute episodes of sensory experience do not quantitatively affect these circuits. Finally, we show that whereas estrogen-producing cells are neurochemically heterogenous, estrogen-sensitive neurons are primarily glutamatergic. These findings reveal the neurochemical and functional organization of estrogen-associated circuits in the auditory forebrain, demonstrate their activation and stability in response to sensory experience in behaving animals, and highlight estrogenic circuits as fundamental components of central networks supporting sensory processing. PMID:21707790

  1. 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

  2. Verification at the protein level of the PIF4-mediated external coincidence model for the temperature-adaptive photoperiodic control of plant growth in Arabidopsis thaliana.

    PubMed

    Yamashino, Takafumi; Nomoto, Yuji; Lorrain, Séverine; Miyachi, Miki; Ito, Shogo; Nakamichi, Norihito; Fankhauser, Christian; Mizuno, Takeshi

    2013-03-01

    Plant circadian clock controls a wide variety of physiological and developmental events, which include the short-days (SDs)-specific promotion of the elongation of hypocotyls during de-etiolation and also the elongation of petioles during vegetative growth. In A. thaliana, the PIF4 gene encoding a phytochrome-interacting basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factor plays crucial roles in this photoperiodic control of plant growth. According to the proposed external coincidence model, the PIF4 gene is transcribed precociously at the end of night specifically in SDs, under which conditions the protein product is stably accumulated, while PIF4 is expressed exclusively during the daytime in long days (LDs), under which conditions the protein product is degraded by the light-activated phyB and also the residual proteins are inactivated by the DELLA family of proteins. A number of previous reports provided solid evidence to support this coincidence model mainly at the transcriptional level of the PIF 4 and PIF4-traget genes. Nevertheless, the diurnal oscillation profiles of PIF4 proteins, which were postulated to be dependent on photoperiod and ambient temperature, have not yet been demonstrated. Here we present such crucial evidence on PIF4 protein level to further support the external coincidence model underlying the temperature-adaptive photoperiodic control of plant growth in A. thaliana.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Young Stand Thinning and Diversity Study: Response of Songbird Community One Decade Post-Treatment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hagar, Joan; Friesen, Cheryl

    2009-01-01

    The response of songbird assemblages to commercial thinning is likely to change as vegetation develops over time after thinning. The influence of thinning intensity and pattern on the timing of transitions in bird community composition following thinning is of interest to managers when a goal is to maintain diversity and accelerate the development of late-seral forest structure. We investigated changes in the composition of songbird assemblages and density of individual species from 2 years before to 12 years after experimental thinning of 40-year-old stands dominated by Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) in the Oregon Cascades. Species richness, and density for five species and the neotropical migrant group were greater in thinned than in unthinned control stands over all post-treatment years of the study. Similarly, three species maintained a negative response to thinning over the post-treatment period. The initial positive influence of thinning was no longer in evidence a decade after harvest for five species. Of seven species with an initial negative response to thinning, three indicated recovery towards pre-treatment densities by the end of the most recent post-treatment survey. Our study is one of the first to document long-term effects of commercial thinning on forest songbird assemblages in the Pacific Northwest.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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. PMID:26001604

  9. 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.

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-03-01

    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.

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Medina, Iliana; Francis, Clinton D.

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:22859557

  14. 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.

  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. PMID:19084408

  16. 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.

  17. A domestication related mutation in the thyroid stimulating hormone receptor gene (TSHR) modulates photoperiodic response and reproduction in chickens.

    PubMed

    Karlsson, Anna-Carin; Fallahshahroudi, Amir; Johnsen, Hanna; Hagenblad, Jenny; Wright, Dominic; Andersson, Leif; Jensen, Per

    2016-03-01

    The thyroid stimulating hormone receptor gene (TSHR) has been suggested to be a "domestication locus" in the chicken. A strong selective sweep over TSHR in domestic breeds together with significant effects of a mutation in the gene on several domestication related traits, indicate that the gene has been important for chicken domestication. TSHR plays a key role in the signal transduction of seasonal reproduction, which is characteristically less strict in domestic animals. We used birds from an advanced intercross line between ancestral Red Junglefowl (RJF) and domesticated White Leghorn (WL) to investigate effects of the mutation on reproductive traits as well as on TSHB, TSHR, DIO2 and DIO3 gene expression during altered day length (photoperiod). We bred chickens homozygous for either the mutation (d/d) or wild type allele (w/w), allowing assessment of the effect of genotype at this locus while also controlling for background variation in the rest of the genome. TSHR gene expression in brain was significantly lower in both d/d females and males and d/d females showed a faster onset of egg laying at sexual maturity than w/w. Furthermore, d/d males showed a reduced testicular size response to decreased day length, and lower levels of TSHB and DIO3 expression. Additionally, purebred White Leghorn females kept under natural short day length in Sweden during December had active ovaries and lower levels of TSHR and DIO3 expression compared to Red Junglefowl females kept under similar conditions. Our study indicates that the TSHR mutation affects photoperiodic response in chicken by reducing dependence of seasonal reproduction, a typical domestication feature, and may therefore have been important for chicken domestication. PMID:26873630

  18. A domestication related mutation in the thyroid stimulating hormone receptor gene (TSHR) modulates photoperiodic response and reproduction in chickens.

    PubMed

    Karlsson, Anna-Carin; Fallahshahroudi, Amir; Johnsen, Hanna; Hagenblad, Jenny; Wright, Dominic; Andersson, Leif; Jensen, Per

    2016-03-01

    The thyroid stimulating hormone receptor gene (TSHR) has been suggested to be a "domestication locus" in the chicken. A strong selective sweep over TSHR in domestic breeds together with significant effects of a mutation in the gene on several domestication related traits, indicate that the gene has been important for chicken domestication. TSHR plays a key role in the signal transduction of seasonal reproduction, which is characteristically less strict in domestic animals. We used birds from an advanced intercross line between ancestral Red Junglefowl (RJF) and domesticated White Leghorn (WL) to investigate effects of the mutation on reproductive traits as well as on TSHB, TSHR, DIO2 and DIO3 gene expression during altered day length (photoperiod). We bred chickens homozygous for either the mutation (d/d) or wild type allele (w/w), allowing assessment of the effect of genotype at this locus while also controlling for background variation in the rest of the genome. TSHR gene expression in brain was significantly lower in both d/d females and males and d/d females showed a faster onset of egg laying at sexual maturity than w/w. Furthermore, d/d males showed a reduced testicular size response to decreased day length, and lower levels of TSHB and DIO3 expression. Additionally, purebred White Leghorn females kept under natural short day length in Sweden during December had active ovaries and lower levels of TSHR and DIO3 expression compared to Red Junglefowl females kept under similar conditions. Our study indicates that the TSHR mutation affects photoperiodic response in chicken by reducing dependence of seasonal reproduction, a typical domestication feature, and may therefore have been important for chicken domestication.

  19. 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.

  20. Temperature regulation in the mouse, Peromyscus leucopus: Effects of various photoperiods, pinealectomy and melatonin administration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lynch, G. R.; Sullivan, J. K.; Gendler, S. L.

    1980-03-01

    The white-footed mouse, Peromyscus leucopus, exhibits two responses to a decreasing series of photoperiods. The “winter” molt and reproductive regression occur in mice maintained on a photoperiods of 12 hours of light per day or less. Daily torpor and weight of lipid-free brown fat increase gradually between photoperiods of LD 13:11 — LD 12:12 and LD 10:14 — 9:15 LD. Pinealectomized mice maintained on a LD 9:15 photoperiod fail to exhibit the extent of daily torpor and increased nesting which are characteristic of sham-operated animals. Replacement therapy with chronically implanted beeswax pellets containing 3 mg of melatonin reverses the effects of pinealectomy.

  1. Seasonal control of odour preferences of meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus) by photoperiod and ovarian hormones.

    PubMed

    Ferkin, M H; Zucker, I

    1991-07-01

    During the spring-summer breeding season, female meadow voles prefer odours of males over those of females, but in the autumn-winter season of reproductive quiescence this preference is reversed. Females housed in long (14 h light/day) and short (10 h light/day) photoperiods, respectively, had odour preferences comparable to those of spring and autumn voles, respectively. The preference of long-photoperiod voles for male over female odours was reversed by ovariectomy and restored by treatment with oestradiol. By contrast, neither ovariectomy nor oestradiol affected odour preferences of short-photoperiod voles. Long days appear to influence olfactory preferences by altering ovarian hormone secretion. The failure of oestradiol to affect odour preferences in short photoperiods suggests that the neural substrates mediating this behavioural response are refractory to oestrogens during the nonbreeding season. PMID:1886099

  2. Seasonality in a temperate zone bird can be entrained by near equatorial photoperiods

    PubMed Central

    Dawson, Alistair

    2006-01-01

    Birds use photoperiod to control the time of breeding and moult. However, it is unclear whether responses are dependent on absolute photoperiod, the direction and rate of change in photoperiod, or if photoperiod entrains a circannual clock. If starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) are kept on a constant photoperiod of 12 h light : 12 h darkness per day (12 L : 12 D), then they can show repeated cycles of gonadal maturation, regression and moult, which is evidence for a circannual clock. In this study, starlings kept on constant 11.5 L : 12.5 D for 4 years or 12.5 L : 11.5 D for 3 years showed no circannual cycles in gonadal maturation or moult. So, if there is a circannual clock, it is overridden by a modest deviation in photoperiod from 12 L : 12 D. The responses to 11.5 L : 12.5 D and 12.5 L : 11.5 D were very different, the former perceived as a short photoperiod (birds were photosensitive for most of the time) and the latter as a long photoperiod (birds remained permanently photorefractory). Starlings were then kept on a schedule which ranged from 11.5 L : 12.5 D in mid-winter to 12.5 L : 11.5 D in mid-summer (simulating the annual cycle at 9 °N) for 3 years. These birds entrained precisely to calendar time and changes in testicular size and moult were similar to those of birds under a simulated cycle at 52 °N. These data show that birds are very sensitive to changes in photoperiod but that they do not simply respond to absolute photoperiod nor can they rely on a circannual clock. Instead, birds appear to respond to the shape of the annual change in photoperiod. This proximate control could operate from near equatorial latitudes and would account for similar seasonal timing in individuals of a species over a wide range of latitudes. PMID:17254997

  3. 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.

  4. Conserved CO-FT regulons contribute to the photoperiod flowering control in soybean

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background CO and FT orthologs, belonging to the BBX and PEBP family, respectively, have important and conserved roles in the photoperiod regulation of flowering time in plants. Soybean genome experienced at least three rounds of whole genome duplications (WGDs), which resulted in multiple copies of about 75% of genes. Subsequent subfunctionalization is the main fate for paralogous gene pairs during the evolutionary process. Results The phylogenic relationships revealed that CO orthologs were widespread in the plant kingdom while FT orthologs were present only in angiosperms. Twenty-eight CO homologous genes and twenty-four FT homologous genes were gained in the soybean genome. Based on the collinear relationship, the soybean ancestral CO ortholog experienced three WGD events, but only two paralogous gene pairs (GmCOL1/2 and GmCOL5/13) survived in the modern soybean. The paralogous gene pairs, GmCOL1/2 or GmCOL5/13, showed similar expression patterns in pair but different between pairs, indicating that they functionally diverged. GmFTL1 to 7 were derived from the same ancestor prior to the whole genome triplication (WGT) event, and after the Legume WGD event the ancestor diverged into two branches, GmFTL3/5/7 and GmFTL1/2/4/6. GmFTL7 were truncated in the N-terminus compared to other FT-lineage genes, but ubiquitously expressed. Expressions of GmFTL1 to 6 were higher in leaves at the flowering stage than that at the seedling stage. GmFTL3 was expressed at the highest level in all tissues except roots at the seedling stage, and its circadian pattern was different from the other five ones. The transcript of GmFTL6 was highly accumulated in seedling roots. The circadian rhythms of GmCOL5/13 and GmFT1/2/4/5/6 were synchronized in a day, demonstrating the complicate relationship of CO-FT regulons in soybean leaves. Over-expression of GmCOL2 did not rescue the flowering phenotype of the Arabidopsis co mutant. However, ectopic expression of GmCOL5 did rescue the co mutant

  5. 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

  6. Trophic matches in Northern Alaska: Existing synchrony among climate, vegetation, arthropods and migratory songbirds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boelman, N.; Gough, L.; Wingfield, J. C.; Team Bird

    2011-12-01

    Climate change in the Arctic is altering patterns of seasonality while also altering the composition and structure of vegetation. In contrast to plants, energy balance, and carbon and nitrogen cycling, the responses of animal populations to these changes have been drastically understudied in the Alaskan interior and much of the Arctic. Investigations are therefore needed to better understand trophic dynamics involving vertebrates under current conditions, and to predict how this group may be impacted by both the direct and indirect effects of changing seasonality and vegetation cover. This is particularly important for migratory animals that breed annually on the arctic tundra because they provide a direct connection between the rapidly changing arctic environment and their more southern staging and over-wintering habitats. In a five year observational study, we are exploring how both shifts towards earlier spring snow melt and the ongoing increase in regional deciduous shrub dominance may affect migratory songbird communities that depend on the tundra for food and shelter during their breeding season. Here we present early results from sites in northern Alaska that differ in shrub height and abundance that reveal: (1) strong existing synchrony among the timing of spring snow melt, spring air temperatures, vegetation phenology, arthropod phenology and the timing of breeding stages of migratory songbirds, and; (2) significant differences in the types and abundance of vegetative and arthropod food sources, as well as environmental and biophysical micro-habitat conditions, between non-shrub dominated tundra plots and deciduous shrub dominated tundra. The arrival time of migratory songbirds on the tundra, and thus the onset of their breeding cycle, is cued by day length, while snow melt, plant growth and arthropod emergence are temperature sensitive. We therefore hypothesize that warmer spring time temperatures could cause a mismatch between the arrival time and onset

  7. Reproductive performance of the Mesa silverside (Chirostoma jordani Woolman, 1894) under natural and controlled photoperiods.

    PubMed

    Arredondo-Figueroa, José Luis; Núñez-García, Laura Georgina; Heredia-Guzmán, Paloma Adriana; Ponce-Palafox, Jesús T

    2012-12-01

    Chirostoma jordani is a native annual species inhabiting lacustrine waters of the Central Mexico Plateau. It is widely distributed and is currently facing high environmental pressures. Five experiments were performed to study the reproductive performance of this species. Four of the experiments were conducted in 270-L indoor recirculation tanks. Two males and one female at the first stage of reproduction were included in each test. A photoperiod of 14 light hours and 10 dark hours was used. In a fifth experiment, 10 females and 15 males were kept in an outdoor 3,000-L recirculation tank under natural photoperiod. The number of spawns, fertilised eggs and 30-day-old juveniles were counted and the survival rate was calculated. The results indicated significant differences (P < 0.05) between treatments. Higher spawn numbers and greater egg production were observed under controlled photoperiod, and higher numbers of juveniles and a higher survival rate were observed under natural photoperiod. The trials exhibited different patterns of egg production during the experiment. The egg production in the natural-photoperiod trials followed a polynomial curve model. In contrast, the trials under the controlled photoperiod showed an irregular pattern of increases and decreases in egg production.

  8. Coordination of Plastid and Light Signaling Pathways upon Development of Arabidopsis Leaves under Various Photoperiods

    PubMed Central

    Lepistö, Anna; Rintamäki, Eevi

    2012-01-01

    Plants synchronize their cellular and physiological functions according to the photoperiod (the length of the light period) in the cycle of 24 h. Photoperiod adjusts several traits in the plant life cycle, including flowering and senescence in annuals and seasonal growth cessation in perennials. Photoperiodic development is controlled by the coordinated action of photoreceptors and the circadian clock. During the past 10 years, remarkable progress has been made in understanding the molecular mechanism of the circadian clock, especially with regard to the transition of Arabidopsis from the vegetative growth to the reproductive phase. Besides flowering photoperiod also modifies plant photosynthetic structures and traits. Light signals controlling biogenesis of chloroplasts and development of leaf photosynthetic structures are perceived both by photoreceptors and in chloroplasts. In this review, we provide evidence suggesting that the photoperiodic development of Arabidopsis leaves mimics the acclimation of plant to various light intensities. Furthermore, the chloroplast-to-nucleus retrograde signals that adjust acclimation to light intensity are proposed to contribute also to the signaling pathways that control photoperiodic acclimation of leaves. PMID:22199239

  9. Arabidopsis coordinates the diurnal regulation of carbon allocation and growth across a wide range of photoperiods.

    PubMed

    Sulpice, Ronan; Flis, Anna; Ivakov, Alexander A; Apelt, Federico; Krohn, Nicole; Encke, Beatrice; Abel, Christin; Feil, Regina; Lunn, John E; Stitt, Mark

    2014-01-01

    In short photoperiods, plants accumulate starch more rapidly in the light and degrade it more slowly at night, ensuring that their starch reserves last until dawn. To investigate the accompanying changes in the timing of growth, Arabidopsis was grown in a range of photoperiods and analyzed for rosette biomass, photosynthesis, respiration, ribosome abundance, polysome loading, starch, and over 40 metabolites at dawn and dusk. The data set was used to model growth rates in the daytime and night, and to identify metabolites that correlate with growth. Modeled growth rates and polysome loading were high in the daytime and at night in long photoperiods, but decreased at night in short photoperiods. Ribosome abundance was similar in all photoperiods. It is discussed how the amount of starch accumulated in the light period, the length of the night, and maintenance costs interact to constrain growth at night in short photoperiods, and alter the strategy for optimizing ribosome use. Significant correlations were found in the daytime and the night between growth rates and the levels of the sugar-signal trehalose 6-phosphate and the amino acid biosynthesis intermediate shikimate, identifying these metabolites as hubs in a network that coordinates growth with diurnal changes in the carbon supply.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Ehd4 encodes a novel and Oryza-genus-specific regulator of photoperiodic flowering in rice.

    PubMed

    Gao, He; Zheng, Xiao-Ming; Fei, Guilin; Chen, Jun; Jin, Mingna; Ren, Yulong; Wu, Weixun; Zhou, Kunneng; Sheng, Peike; Zhou, Feng; Jiang, Ling; Wang, Jie; Zhang, Xin; Guo, Xiuping; Wang, Jiu-Lin; Cheng, Zhijun; Wu, Chuanyin; Wang, Haiyang; Wan, Jian-Min

    2013-01-01

    Land plants have evolved increasingly complex regulatory modes of their flowering time (or heading date in crops). Rice (Oryza sativa L.) is a short-day plant that flowers more rapidly in short-day but delays under long-day conditions. Previous studies have shown that the CO-FT module initially identified in long-day plants (Arabidopsis) is evolutionary conserved in short-day plants (Hd1-Hd3a in rice). However, in rice, there is a unique Ehd1-dependent flowering pathway that is Hd1-independent. Here, we report isolation and characterization of a positive regulator of Ehd1, Early heading date 4 (Ehd4). ehd4 mutants showed a never flowering phenotype under natural long-day conditions. Map-based cloning revealed that Ehd4 encodes a novel CCCH-type zinc finger protein, which is localized to the nucleus and is able to bind to nucleic acids in vitro and transactivate transcription in yeast, suggesting that it likely functions as a transcriptional regulator. Ehd4 expression is most active in young leaves with a diurnal expression pattern similar to that of Ehd1 under both short-day and long-day conditions. We show that Ehd4 up-regulates the expression of the "florigen" genes Hd3a and RFT1 through Ehd1, but it acts independently of other known Ehd1 regulators. Strikingly, Ehd4 is highly conserved in the Oryza genus including wild and cultivated rice, but has no homologs in other species, suggesting that Ehd4 is originated along with the diversification of the Oryza genus from the grass family during evolution. We conclude that Ehd4 is a novel Oryza-genus-specific regulator of Ehd1, and it plays an essential role in photoperiodic control of flowering time in rice.

  13. Photoperiodic and circadian bifurcation theories of depression and mania

    PubMed Central

    Kripke, Daniel F.; Elliott, Jeffrey A.; Welsh, David K.; Youngstedt, Shawn D.

    2015-01-01

    Seasonal effects on mood have been observed throughout much of human history.  Seasonal changes in animals and plants are largely mediated through the changing photoperiod (i.e., the photophase or duration of daylight).  We review that in mammals, daylight specifically regulates SCN (suprachiasmatic nucleus) circadian organization and its control of melatonin secretion.  The timing of melatonin secretion interacts with gene transcription in the pituitary pars tuberalis to modulate production of TSH (thyrotropin), hypothalamic T3 (triiodothyronine), and tuberalin peptides which modulate pituitary production of regulatory gonadotropins and other hormones.  Pituitary hormones largely mediate seasonal physiologic and behavioral variations.  As a result of long winter nights or inadequate illumination, we propose that delayed morning offset of nocturnal melatonin secretion, suppressing pars tuberalis function, could be the main cause for winter depression and even cause depressions at other times of year.  Irregularities of circadian sleep timing and thyroid homeostasis contribute to depression.  Bright light and sleep restriction are antidepressant and conversely, sometimes trigger mania.  We propose that internal desynchronization or bifurcation of SCN circadian rhythms may underlie rapid-cycling manic-depressive disorders and perhaps most mania.  Much further research will be needed to add substance to these theories. PMID:26180634

  14. 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.

  15. Evidence that the circadian system mediates photoperiodic nonresponsiveness in Siberian hamsters: the effect of running wheel access on photoperiodic responsiveness.

    PubMed

    Freeman, D A; Goldman, B D

    1997-04-01

    Juvenile male Siberian hamsters from a line of hamsters selected for nonresponsiveness to short photoperiod (PNRj) and animals from the general colony (UNS) were separated at weaning into two groups. Group 1 males were moved into short days (10 h light:14 h dark [10L:14D]) with free access to running wheels (RW). Group 2 animals were the male siblings of Group 1 hamsters; they were moved at the same time into the same room, but were housed in cages without access to RW. Group 2 hamsters only had access to RW for the final week of short-day exposure (Week 8). Animals were blood sampled at the time of sacrifice for analysis of serum prolactin (PRL) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) concentrations. At sacrifice, paired testis weights were obtained and pelage color was scored. Animals from the UNS line showed the expected declines in testis weight, body weight, and serum concentrations of both PRL and FSH, regardless of the presence or absence of RW. These animals also exhibited a high proportion of individuals molting to winter-type pelage. By contrast, a marked difference was noted between siblings from the PNRj line depending on whether RW access was provided at the time of weaning. Animals with access to RW exhibited identical responses to those of the UNS responder animals, whereas PNRj animals without access to RW showed no adjustments to short days (i.e., testis regression, pelage molt, expansion of alpha). In a second experiment, PNRj and UNS males were placed in constant darkness (DD), with or without RW access. The results of this experiment indicated that PNRj animals respond to DD regardless of the presence or absence of RW. In DD, PNRj hamsters also exhibited significantly longer free-running period lengths (taus) than did UNS hamsters; all the PNRj hamsters had taus > 24 h, whereas none of the UNS hamsters had a tau > 24 h. These results indicate that PNRj hamsters retain the proper neural pathways for responding to short day lengths and establish a

  16. 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. PMID:24439548

  17. 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.

  18. Growth Pattern Responses to Photoperiod across Latitudes in a Northern Damselfly

    PubMed Central

    Śniegula, Szymon; Nilsson-Örtman, Viktor; Johansson, Frank

    2012-01-01

    Background Latitudinal clines in temperature and seasonality impose strong seasonal constraints on ectotherms. Studies of population differentiation in phenotypic plasticity of life history traits along latitudinal gradients are important for understanding how organisms have adapted to seasonal environments and predict how they respond to climate changes. Such studies have been scarce for species with a northern distribution. Methodology/Principle Finding Larvae of the northern damselfly Coenagrion johanssoni originating from semivoltine central, partivoltine northern, and partivoltine northernmost Swedish populations were reared in the laboratory. To investigate whether larvae use photoperiodic cues to induce compensatory growth along this latitudinal gradient, larvae were reared under two different photoperiods corresponding to a northern and southern latitude. In addition, field adult size was assessed to test the strength of possible compensatory growth mechanisms under natural conditions and hatchling size was measured to test for maternal effects. We hypothesized that populations originating from lower latitudes would be more time constrained than high-latitude populations because they have a shorter life cycle. The results showed that low-latitude populations had higher growth rates in summer/fall. In general northern photoperiods induced higher growth rates, but this plastic response to photoperiod was strongest in the southernmost populations and negligible in the northernmost population. During spring, central populations grew faster under the southern rather than the northern photoperiod. On the other hand, northern and northernmost populations did not differ between each other and grew faster in the northern rather than in the southern photoperiod. Field sampled adults did not differ in size across the studied regions. Conclusion/Significance We found a significant differentiation in growth rate across latitudes and latitudinal difference in growth rate

  19. Domestic queens under natural temperate photoperiod do not manifest seasonal anestrus.

    PubMed

    Faya, M; Carranza, A; Priotto, M; Abeya, M; Diaz, J D; Gobello, C

    2011-11-01

    Domestic cat seasonality between the tropics and the arctic zones is scarcely described and results are inconsistent. The aim of this study was to describe domestic feline seasonal patterns under a natural temperate photoperiod. A total of 372 estrous cycles were studied in 34 post pubertal cats during 900 days. The queens were housed in a cat colony (31°25' South Latitude, 64°11' West Longitude), acclimated under natural photoperiod and daily observed for reproductive behavior. Vaginal cytology was conducted three times a week. For each cat the number of estrous cycles and days in estrus per month for each year were recorded. The months of the year were grouped in four periods of 3 months each according to day length and photoperiod. Comparisons of estrous days among periods were performed by ANOVA for repeated measures. All the cats had estrous cycles throughout the year without intervals of anestrus. Mean number of estrous days differed among the periods (P<0.01), those of long day length and ascending photoperiod being greater (12.5±0.6) to those of descending photoperiod either with long (8.9±0.7) or short (9.3±0.7) days. When the two periods with ascending day lengths were merged and compared to the two periods with descending day lengths merged, the number of estrous days were greater when day length ascended (P<0.01). Nearly 60% of the estrous cycles occurred during the periods of ascending day length. It is concluded, that domestic cats under natural temperate photoperiod have estrous cycles throughout the year showing peak activity the months with increasing photoperiod.

  20. 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. PMID:24713858

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Area-specific migration and recruitment of new neurons in the adult songbird brain.

    PubMed

    Vellema, Michiel; van der Linden, Annemie; Gahr, Manfred

    2010-05-01

    Neuron recruitment has been implicated in morphological and functional plasticity in the adult brain. Whereas mammals restrict neuron recruitment specifically to two regions of known plasticity, the hippocampus and olfactory bulb, newborn neurons are found throughout the forebrain of adult songbirds. In order to study the area-specificity of the widespread proliferation and recruitment in the songbird brain, six adult male canaries received repetitive intraperitoneal injections of the mitotic marker BrdU (5-bromo-2-deoxyuridine) and were sacrificed after 24 hours to study proliferation or after 38 days to study recruitment. Migration and incorporation of new neurons was apparent throughout many but not all parts of the canary forebrain and was quantitatively related to mitotic levels in the most closely associated proliferative zones. Surprisingly, some areas of the vocal control system sensitive to plastic changes, such as nucleus higher vocal center (HVC) and area X, recruited similar numbers of new neurons as their surrounding brain tissues, employing no specific directional mechanisms. The distribution pattern in and around HVC could best be described by a random displacement model, where cells originating from the overlying lateral ventricle can move independently in any direction. Other plastic song control areas, such as the medial magnocellular nucleus of anterior nidopallium and the robust nucleus of arcopallium, were specifically avoided by migrating neurons, while migration toward the olfactory bulb showed high specificity, similar to the mammalian rostral migratory stream. Thus, different mechanisms appear to organize area-specific neuron recruitment in different recipients of the adult songbird brain, unrelated to global plasticity of brain regions.

  7. An Intact Dorsomedial Posterior Arcuate Nucleus is Not Necessary for Photoperiodic Responses in Siberian Hamsters1

    PubMed Central

    Teubner, Brett J.W.; Leitner, Claudia; Thomas, Michael A.; Ryu, Vitaly; Bartness, Timothy J.

    2015-01-01

    Seasonal responses of many animal species are triggered by changes in daylength and its transduction into a neuroendocrine signal by the pineal gland through the nocturnal duration of melatonin (MEL) release. The precise central sites necessary to receive, transduce, and relay the short day (SD) fall-winter MEL signals into seasonal responses and changes in physiology and behavior are unclear. In Siberian hamsters, SDs trigger decreases in body and lipid mass, testicular regression and pelage color changes. Several candidate genes and their central sites of expression have been proposed as components of the MEL transduction system with considerable recent focus on the arcuate nucleus (ARC) and its component, the dorsomedial posterior arcuate nucleus (dmpARC). This site has been postulated as a critical relay of SD information through the modulation of a variety of neurochemicals/receptors important for the control of energy balance. Here the necessity of an intact dmpARC for SD responses was tested by making electrolytic lesions of the Siberian hamster dmpARC and then exposing them to either long days (LD) or SDs for 12 weeks. The SD typical decreases in body and fat mass, food intake, testicular volume, serum testosterone concentrations, pelage color change and increased UCP-1 protein expression (a proxy for brown adipose tissue thermogenesis) all occurred despite the lack of an intact dmpARC. Although the Siberian hamster dmpARC contains photoperiod-modulated constituents, these data demonstrate that an intact dmpARC is not necessary for SD responses and not integral to the seasonal energy- and reproductive-related responses measured here. PMID:25647158

  8. An intact dorsomedial posterior arcuate nucleus is not necessary for photoperiodic responses in Siberian hamsters.

    PubMed

    Teubner, Brett J W; Leitner, Claudia; Thomas, Michael A; Ryu, Vitaly; Bartness, Timothy J

    2015-04-01

    Seasonal responses of many animal species are triggered by changes in daylength and its transduction into a neuroendocrine signal by the pineal gland through the nocturnal duration of melatonin (MEL) release. The precise central sites necessary to receive, transduce, and relay the short day (SD) fall-winter MEL signals into seasonal responses and changes in physiology and behavior are unclear. In Siberian hamsters, SDs trigger decreases in body and lipid mass, testicular regression and pelage color changes. Several candidate genes and their central sites of expression have been proposed as components of the MEL transduction system with considerable recent focus on the arcuate nucleus (ARC) and its component, the dorsomedial posterior arcuate nucleus (dmpARC). This site has been postulated as a critical relay of SD information through the modulation of a variety of neurochemicals/receptors important for the control of energy balance. Here the necessity of an intact dmpARC for SD responses was tested by making electrolytic lesions of the Siberian hamster dmpARC and then exposing them to either long days (LD) or SDs for 12wks. The SD typical decreases in body and fat mass, food intake, testicular volume, serum testosterone concentrations, pelage color change and increased UCP-1 protein expression (a proxy for brown adipose tissue thermogenesis) all occurred despite the lack of an intact dmpARC. Although the Siberian hamster dmpARC contains photoperiod-modulated constituents, these data demonstrate that an intact dmpARC is not necessary for SD responses and not integral to the seasonal energy- and reproductive-related responses measured here.

  9. An intact dorsomedial posterior arcuate nucleus is not necessary for photoperiodic responses in Siberian hamsters.

    PubMed

    Teubner, Brett J W; Leitner, Claudia; Thomas, Michael A; Ryu, Vitaly; Bartness, Timothy J

    2015-04-01

    Seasonal responses of many animal species are triggered by changes in daylength and its transduction into a neuroendocrine signal by the pineal gland through the nocturnal duration of melatonin (MEL) release. The precise central sites necessary to receive, transduce, and relay the short day (SD) fall-winter MEL signals into seasonal responses and changes in physiology and behavior are unclear. In Siberian hamsters, SDs trigger decreases in body and lipid mass, testicular regression and pelage color changes. Several candidate genes and their central sites of expression have been proposed as components of the MEL transduction system with considerable recent focus on the arcuate nucleus (ARC) and its component, the dorsomedial posterior arcuate nucleus (dmpARC). This site has been postulated as a critical relay of SD information through the modulation of a variety of neurochemicals/receptors important for the control of energy balance. Here the necessity of an intact dmpARC for SD responses was tested by making electrolytic lesions of the Siberian hamster dmpARC and then exposing them to either long days (LD) or SDs for 12wks. The SD typical decreases in body and fat mass, food intake, testicular volume, serum testosterone concentrations, pelage color change and increased UCP-1 protein expression (a proxy for brown adipose tissue thermogenesis) all occurred despite the lack of an intact dmpARC. Although the Siberian hamster dmpARC contains photoperiod-modulated constituents, these data demonstrate that an intact dmpARC is not necessary for SD responses and not integral to the seasonal energy- and reproductive-related responses measured here. PMID:25647158

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Rice tungro spherical virus resistance into photoperiod-insensitive japonica rice by marker-assisted selection.

    PubMed

    Shim, Junghyun; Torollo, Gideon; Angeles-Shim, Rosalyn B; Cabunagan, Rogelio C; Choi, Il-Ryong; Yeo, Un-Sang; Ha, Woon-Goo

    2015-09-01

    Rice tungro disease (RTD) is one of the destructive and prevalent diseases in the tropical region. RTD is caused by Rice tungro spherical virus (RTSV) and Rice tungro bacilliform virus. Cultivation of japonica rice (Oryza sativa L. ssp japonica) in tropical Asia has often been restricted because most japonica cultivars are sensitive to short photoperiod, which is characteristic of tropical conditions. Japonica1, a rice variety bred for tropical conditions, is photoperiod-insensitive, has a high yield potential, but is susceptible to RTD and has poor grain quality. To transfer RTD resistance into Japonica1, we made two backcrosses (BC) and 8 three-way crosses (3-WC) among Japonica1 and RTSV-resistant cultivars. Among 8,876 BC1F2 and 3-WCF2 plants, 342 were selected for photoperiod-insensitivity and good grain quality. Photoperiod-insensitive progenies were evaluated for RTSV resistance by a bioassay and marker-assisted selection (MAS), and 22 BC1F7 and 3-WCF7 lines were selected based on the results of an observational yield trial. The results demonstrated that conventional selection for photoperiod-insensitivity and MAS for RTSV resistance can greatly facilitate the development of japonica rice that is suitable for cultivation in tropical Asia. PMID:26366118

  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. PMID:27521786

  14. Interaction of diet and photoperiod on growth and reproduction in male golden hamsters.

    PubMed

    Johnson, L B; Hoffman, R A

    1985-01-01

    Two basic diets (commercial rodent pellets or seeds) with or without supplements of carbohydrate were tested for growth and development, and effects on organ weights and serum calcium in male golden hamsters. The additional influence of photoperiod was measured. The data suggest that a seed diet alone is not adequate for growth. Addition of seeds and/or carbohydrate to the pellet diet increases growth rates substantially compared to the pellet diet alone. There are significant interaction effects on reproduction between diet and photoperiod indicating that diet can modify responses to short photic input. While reproduction remains essentially normal in seed-fed animals in long photoperiods, the rate of reproductive involution in short photoperiods is greatly enhanced. Added carbohydrate appears to offer some protection against the adverse effect of short photoperiods on reproduction. Even though calcium supplements to the diet increase serum calcium levels toward normal, growth rates are not improved. Addition of Tenebrio (grain beetle) larvae to the seed diet induces growth rates comparable to those of control animals, yet serum calcium levels remain significantly lower.

  15. Photoperiodic regulation of hippocampal neurogenesis in adult male white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus).

    PubMed

    Walton, James C; Aubrecht, Taryn G; Weil, Zachary M; Leuner, Benedetta; Nelson, Randy J

    2014-08-01

    Photoperiodic organisms monitor environmental day length to engage in seasonally appropriate adaptions in physiology and behavior. Among these adaptations are changes in brain volume and neurogenesis, which have been well described in multiple species of birds, yet few studies have described such changes in the brains of adult mammals. White-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus) are an excellent species in which to investigate the effects of day length on adult hippocampal neurogenesis, as males, in addition to having reduced hippocampal volume in short days (SD) with concomitant impairments in hippocampus-mediated behaviors, have photoperiod-dependent changes in olfactory bulb neurogenesis. We performed the current experiment to assess the effects of photoperiod on hippocampal neurogenesis longitudinally, using the thymidine analog bromodeoxyuridine at multiple time points across 10 weeks of SD exposure. Compared with counterparts held in long day (LD) lengths, across the first 8 weeks of SD exposure hippocampal neurogenesis was reduced. However, at 10 weeks in SD lengths neurogenic levels in the hippocampus were elevated above those levels in mice held in LD lengths. The current findings are consistent with the natural photoperiodic cycle of hippocampal function in male white-footed mice, and may help to inform research on photoperiodic plasticity in neurogenesis and provide insight into how the complex interplay among the environment, genes and adaptive responses to changing day lengths affects brain structure, function and behavior at multiple levels. PMID:24893623

  16. Increased photic sensitivity for phase resetting but not melatonin suppression in Siberian hamsters under short photoperiods.

    PubMed

    Glickman, G L; Harrison, E M; Elliott, J A; Gorman, M R

    2014-03-01

    Light regulates a variety of behavioral and physiological processes, including activity rhythms and hormone secretory patterns. Seasonal changes in the proportion of light in a day (photoperiod) further modulate those functions. Recently, short (SP) versus long days (LP) were found to markedly increase light sensitivity for phase shifting in Syrian hamsters. To our knowledge, photoperiod effects on light sensitivity have not been studied in other rodents, nor is it known if they generalize to other circadian responses. We tested whether photic phase shifting and melatonin suppression vary in Siberian hamsters maintained under LP or SP. Select irradiances of light were administered, and shifts in activity were determined. Photic sensitivity for melatonin suppression was examined in a separate group of animals via pulses of light across a 4 log-unit photon density range, with post-pulse plasma melatonin levels determined via RIA. Phase shifting and melatonin suppression were greater at higher irradiances for both LP and SP. The lower irradiance condition was below threshold for phase shifts in LP but not SP. Melatonin suppression did not vary by photoperiod, and the half saturation constant for fitted sigmoid curves was similar under LP and SP. Thus, the photoperiodic modulation of light sensitivity for phase shifting is conserved across two hamster genera. The dissociation of photoperiod effects on photic phase shifting and melatonin suppression suggests that the modulation of sensitivity occurs downstream of the common retinal input pathway. Understanding the mechanistic basis for this plasticity may yield therapeutic targets for optimizing light therapy practices.

  17. Increased photic sensitivity for phase resetting but not melatonin suppression in Siberian hamsters under short photoperiods

    PubMed Central

    Glickman, GL; Harrison, EM; Elliott, JA; Gorman, MR

    2014-01-01

    Light regulates a variety of behavioral and physiological processes, including activity rhythms and hormone secretory patterns. Seasonal changes in the proportion of light in a day (photoperiod) further modulate those functions. Recently, short (SP) versus long days (LP) were found to markedly increase light sensitivity for phase shifting in Syrian hamsters. To our knowledge, photoperiod effects on light sensitivity have not been studied in other rodents nor is it known if they generalize to other circadian responses. We tested whether photic phase shifting and melatonin suppression vary in Siberian hamsters maintained under LP or SP. Select irradiances of light were administered, and shifts in activity were determined. Photic sensitivity for melatonin suppression was examined in a separate group of animals via pulses of light across a 4 log-unit photon density range, with post-pulse plasma melatonin levels determined via RIA. Phase shifting and melatonin suppression were greater at higher irradiances for both LP and SP. The lower irradiance condition was below threshold for phase shifts in LP but not SP. Melatonin suppression did not vary by photoperiod, and the half saturation constant for fitted sigmoid curves was similar under LP and SP. Thus, photoperiodic modulation of light sensitivity for phase shifting is conserved across two hamster genera. The dissociation of photoperiod effects on photic phase shifting and melatonin suppression suggests modulation of sensitivity occurs downstream of the common retinal input pathway. Understanding the mechanistic basis for this plasticity may yield therapeutic targets for optimizing light therapy practices. PMID:24440383

  18. Photoperiodic regulation of hippocampal neurogenesis in adult male white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus).

    PubMed

    Walton, James C; Aubrecht, Taryn G; Weil, Zachary M; Leuner, Benedetta; Nelson, Randy J

    2014-08-01

    Photoperiodic organisms monitor environmental day length to engage in seasonally appropriate adaptions in physiology and behavior. Among these adaptations are changes in brain volume and neurogenesis, which have been well described in multiple species of birds, yet few studies have described such changes in the brains of adult mammals. White-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus) are an excellent species in which to investigate the effects of day length on adult hippocampal neurogenesis, as males, in addition to having reduced hippocampal volume in short days (SD) with concomitant impairments in hippocampus-mediated behaviors, have photoperiod-dependent changes in olfactory bulb neurogenesis. We performed the current experiment to assess the effects of photoperiod on hippocampal neurogenesis longitudinally, using the thymidine analog bromodeoxyuridine at multiple time points across 10 weeks of SD exposure. Compared with counterparts held in long day (LD) lengths, across the first 8 weeks of SD exposure hippocampal neurogenesis was reduced. However, at 10 weeks in SD lengths neurogenic levels in the hippocampus were elevated above those levels in mice held in LD lengths. The current findings are consistent with the natural photoperiodic cycle of hippocampal function in male white-footed mice, and may help to inform research on photoperiodic plasticity in neurogenesis and provide insight into how the complex interplay among the environment, genes and adaptive responses to changing day lengths affects brain structure, function and behavior at multiple levels.

  19. [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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Photoperiodic regulation of FGF21 production in the Siberian hamster.

    PubMed

    Samms, Ricardo J; Fowler, Maxine J; Cooper, Scott; Emmerson, Paul; Coskun, Tamer; Adams, Andrew C; Kharitonenkov, Alexei; Tsintzas, Kostas; Ebling, Francis J P

    2014-06-01

    This article is part of a Special Issue "Energy Balance". FGF21 is an endocrine member of the fibroblast growth factor superfamily that has been shown to play an important role in the physiological response to nutrient deprivation. Food restriction enhances hepatic FGF21 production, which serves to engage an integrated response to energy deficit. Specifically, elevated FGF21 levels lead to reduced gluconeogenesis and increased hepatic ketogenesis. However, circulating FGF21 concentrations also paradoxically rise in states of metabolic dysfunction such as obesity. Furthermore, multiple peripheral tissues also produce FGF21 in addition to the liver, raising questions as to its endocrine and paracrine roles in the control of energy metabolism. The objectives of this study were to measure plasma FGF21 concentrations in the Siberian hamster, a rodent which undergoes a seasonal cycle of fattening and body weight gain in the long days (LD) of summer, followed by reduction of appetite and fat catabolism in the short days (SD) of winter. Groups of adult male hamsters were raised in long days, and then exposed to SD for up to 12 weeks. Chronic exposure of LD animals to SD led to a significant increase in circulating FGF21 concentrations. This elevation of circulating FGF21 was preceded by an increase in liver FGF21 protein production evident as early as 4 weeks of exposure to SD. FGF21 protein abundance was also increased significantly in interscapular brown adipose tissue, with a positive correlation between plasma levels of FGF21 and BAT protein abundance throughout the experimental period. Epididymal white adipose tissue and skeletal muscle (gastrocnemius) also produced FGF21, but levels did not change in response to a change in photoperiod. In summary, a natural programmed state of fat catabolism was associated with increased FGF21 production in the liver and BAT, consistent with the view that FGF21 has a role in adapting hamsters to the hypophagic winter state.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Daily rhythms of clock gene expression and feeding behavior during the larval development in gilthead seabream, Sparus aurata.

    PubMed

    Mata-Sotres, José Antonio; Martínez-Rodríguez, Gonzalo; Pérez-Sánchez, Jaume; Sánchez-Vázquez, F Javier; Yúfera, Manuel

    2015-01-01

    Light is the main environmental time cue which synchronizes daily rhythms and the molecular clock of vertebrates. Indeed, alterations in photoperiod have profound physiological effects in fish (e.g. reproduction and early development). In order to identify the changes in clock genes expression in gilthead seabream larvae during ontogeny, three different photoperiods were tested: a regular 12L:12D cycle (LD), a continuous light 24L:0D (LL) and a two-phases photoperiod (LL + LD) in which the photoperiod changed from LL to LD on day 15 after hatching (dph). Larvae were sampled on 10, 18, 30 and 60 days post-hatch (dph) during a 24 h cycle. In addition to the expression of clock genes (clock, bmal1, cry1 and per3), food intake was measured. Under LD photoperiod, larvae feed intake and clock genes expression showed a rhythmic pattern with a strong light synchronization, with the acrophases occurring at the same hour in all tested ages. Under LL photoperiod, the larvae also showed a rhythmic pattern but the acrophases occurred at different times depending on the age, although at the end of the experiment (60 dph) clock genes expression and feed intake rhythms were similar to those larvae exposed to LD photoperiod. Moreover, the expression levels of bmal1 and cry1 were much lower than in LD photoperiod. Under the LL + LD photoperiod, the 10 dph larvae showed the same patterns as LL treatment while 18 and 30 dph larvae showed the same patterns as LD treatment. These results revealed the presence of internal factors driving rhythmic physiological responses during larvae development under constant environmental conditions. The LL + LD treatment demonstrates the plasticity of the clock genes expression and the strong effect of light as synchronizer in developing fish larvae.

  7. 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.

  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. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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...

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Gonadal hormone-dependent and -independent regulation of immune function by photoperiod in Siberian hamsters.

    PubMed

    Prendergast, Brian J; Baillie, Scott R; Dhabhar, Firdaus S

    2008-02-01

    Siberian hamsters (Phodopus sungorus) exhibit changes in reproductive and immune function in response to seasonal variations in day length. Exposure to short days induces gonadal regression and inhibits testosterone secretion. In parallel, short days enhance immune function: increasing leukocyte numbers and attenuating cytokine and behavioral responses to infection. We examined whether photoperiodic changes in leukocyte phenotypes and sickness behaviors are dependent on concurrent photoperiodic changes in gonadal function. Male hamsters were gonadectomized or sham-gonadectomized and either exposed to short days (9 h light/day; SD) or kept in their natal long-day (15 h light/day; LD) photoperiod for 10-13 wk. Blood samples were obtained for leukocyte enumeration, and hamsters were challenged with bacterial LPS, which induced behavioral (anorexia, reductions in nest building) and somatic (weight loss) sickness responses. Among gonad-intact hamsters, exposure to SD increased total and CD62L+ lymphocytes and CD3+ T lymphocytes in blood and significantly attenuated LPS-induced sickness responses. Independent of photoperiod, castration alone increased total and CD62L+ lymphocyte and CD3+ T lymphocyte numbers and attenuated somatic and anorexic sickness responses. Among castrated hamsters, SD exposure increased lymphocyte numbers and suppressed sickness behaviors. In castrated hamsters, the magnitude of most immunological effects of SD were diminished relative to those evident in gonad-intact hamsters. The SD phenotype in several measures of immunity can be instated via elimination of gonadal hormones alone; however, photoperiodic effects on immune function persist even in castrated hamsters. Thus, photoperiod affects the immune system and neural-immune interactions underlying sickness behaviors via gonadal hormone-dependent and -independent mechanisms.

  15. 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

  16. Temperature and Photoperiod Interactions with Phosphorus-Limited Growth and Competition of Two Diatoms

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:25010420

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Photoperiodic control of seasonal development and dormancy in tropical stem-succulent trees.

    PubMed

    Borchert, R; Rivera, G

    2001-03-01

    Tropical stem-succulent trees store large quantities of water in their trunks yet remain leafless during the early and mid dry season. In contrast to most other tropical trees, bud break of vegetative buds is not induced in fully hydrated stem succulents between the winter solstice and the spring equinox by leaf abscission, abnormal rain showers or irrigation. Vegetative buds of leafless trees are therefore in a state of endo-dormancy similar to that of temperate perennial plants during early winter. Highly synchronous bud break regularly occurs soon after the spring equinox, often weeks before the first rainfalls of the wet season. These observations suggested that endo-dormancy and bud break might be induced by declining and increasing photoperiods after the autumn and spring equinoxes, respectively. In phenological field observations, we confirmed highly synchronous bud break after the spring equinox in many trees of five stem-succulent species in the northern and southern hemispheres. Shoot growth of potted saplings of Plumeria rubra L. was arrested by a decline in day length below 12 h after the autumn equinox, but continued in saplings maintained in a 13-h photoperiod. Conversely, exposure to a 13-h photoperiod induced bud break of dormant apical buds in saplings and cuttings in January, whereas plants maintained in the natural day length of < 11.7 h remained dormant. Photoperiodic control of endo-dormancy of vegetative buds in stem succulents is thus supported by field observations and experimental variation of the photoperiod. At low latitudes, where annual variation of day length is less than 1 h, bud dormancy is induced and broken by variations in photoperiod of less than 30 min.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. The song must go on: resilience of the songbird vocal motor pathway.

    PubMed

    Poole, Barish; Markowitz, Jeffrey E; Gardner, Timothy J

    2012-01-01

    Stereotyped sequences of neural activity underlie learned vocal behavior in songbirds; principle neurons in the cortical motor nucleus HVC fire in stereotyped sequences with millisecond precision across multiple renditions of a song. The geometry of neural connections underlying these sequences is not known in detail though feed-forward chains are commonly assumed in theoretical models of sequential neural activity. In songbirds, a well-defined cortical-thalamic motor circuit exists but little is known the fine-grain structure of connections within each song nucleus. To examine whether the structure of song is critically dependent on long-range connections within HVC, we bilaterally transected the nucleus along the anterior-posterior axis in normal-hearing and deafened birds. The disruption leads to a slowing of song as well as an increase in acoustic variability. These effects are reversed on a time-scale of days even in deafened birds or in birds that are prevented from singing post-transection. The stereotyped song of zebra finches includes acoustic details that span from milliseconds to seconds--one of the most precise learned behaviors in the animal kingdom. This detailed motor pattern is resilient to disruption of connections at the cortical level, and the details of song variability and duration are maintained by offline homeostasis of the song circuit. PMID:22768040

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Male Songbird Indicates Body Size with Low-Pitched Advertising Songs

    PubMed Central

    Hall, Michelle L.; Kingma, Sjouke A.; Peters, Anne

    2013-01-01

    Body size is a key sexually selected trait in many animal species. If size imposes a physical limit on the production of loud low-frequency sounds, then low-pitched vocalisations could act as reliable signals of body size. However, the central prediction of this hypothesis – that the pitch of vocalisations decreases with size among competing individuals – has limited support in songbirds. One reason could be that only the lowest-frequency components of vocalisations are constrained, and this may go unnoticed when vocal ranges are large. Additionally, the constraint may only be apparent in contexts when individuals are indeed advertising their size. Here we explicitly consider signal diversity and performance limits to demonstrate that body size limits song frequency in an advertising context in a songbird. We show that in purple-crowned fairy-wrens, Malurus coronatus coronatus, larger males sing lower-pitched low-frequency advertising songs. The lower frequency bound of all advertising song types also has a significant negative relationship with body size. However, the average frequency of all their advertising songs is unrelated to body size. This comparison of different approaches to the analysis demonstrates how a negative relationship between body size and song frequency can be obscured by failing to consider signal design and the concept of performance limits. Since these considerations will be important in any complex communication system, our results imply that body size constraints on low-frequency vocalisations could be more widespread than is currently recognised. PMID:23437221

  9. 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. PMID:26085501

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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".

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. PHOTOPERIOD RESPONSE 1 (PHOR1)-like Genes Regulate Shoot/root Growth, Starch Accumulation, and Wood Formation in Populus

    PubMed Central

    Busov, Victor B.

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:22915748

  16. Red Light-Mediated Degradation of CONSTANS by the E3 Ubiquitin Ligase HOS1 Regulates Photoperiodic Flowering in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Lazaro, Ana; Mouriz, Alfonso; Piñeiro, Manuel; Jarillo, José A

    2015-09-01

    The regulation of CONSTANS (CO) gene expression is crucial to accurately measure changes in daylength, which influences flowering time in Arabidopsis thaliana. CO expression is under both transcriptional and posttranslational control mechanisms. We previously showed that the E3 ubiquitin ligase HIGH EXPRESSION OF OSMOTICALLY RESPONSIVE GENES1 (HOS1) physically interacts with CO in Arabidopsis. This interaction is required to precisely modulate the timing of CO accumulation and, consequently, to maintain low levels of FLOWERING LOCUS T expression during the first part of the day. The data presented here demonstrate that HOS1 is involved in the red light-mediated degradation of CO that takes place in the early stages of the daylight period. Our results show that phytochrome B (phyB) is able to regulate flowering time, acting in the phloem companion cells, as previously described for CO and HOS1. Moreover, we reveal that phyB physically interacts with HOS1 and CO, indicating that the three proteins may be present in a complex in planta that is required to coordinate a correct photoperiodic response in Arabidopsis.

  17. Red Light-Mediated Degradation of CONSTANS by the E3 Ubiquitin Ligase HOS1 Regulates Photoperiodic Flowering in Arabidopsis

    PubMed Central

    Lazaro, Ana; Mouriz, Alfonso; Piñeiro, Manuel; Jarillo, José A.

    2015-01-01

    The regulation of CONSTANS (CO) gene expression is crucial to accurately measure changes in daylength, which influences flowering time in Arabidopsis thaliana. CO expression is under both transcriptional and posttranslational control mechanisms. We previously showed that the E3 ubiquitin ligase HIGH EXPRESSION OF OSMOTICALLY RESPONSIVE GENES1 (HOS1) physically interacts with CO in Arabidopsis. This interaction is required to precisely modulate the timing of CO accumulation and, consequently, to maintain low levels of FLOWERING LOCUS T expression during the first part of the day. The data presented here demonstrate that HOS1 is involved in the red light-mediated degradation of CO that takes place in the early stages of the daylight period. Our results show that phytochrome B (phyB) is able to regulate flowering time, acting in the phloem companion cells, as previously described for CO and HOS1. Moreover, we reveal that phyB physically interacts with HOS1 and CO, indicating that the three proteins may be present in a complex in planta that is required to coordinate a correct photoperiodic response in Arabidopsis. PMID:26373454

  18. Circadian rhythmicity and photoperiodism in the pitcher-plant mosquito: can the seasonal timer evolve independently of the circadian clock?

    PubMed

    Bradshaw, W E; Holzapfel, C M; Mathias, D

    2006-04-01

    The two major rhythms of the biosphere are daily and seasonal; the two major adaptations to these rhythms are the circadian clock, mediating daily activities, and the photoperiodic timer, mediating seasonal activities. The mechanistic connection between the circadian clock and the photoperiodic timer remains unresolved. Herein, we show that the rhythmic developmental response to exotic light:dark cycles, usually used to infer a causal connection between the circadian clock and the photoperiodic timer, has evolved independently of the photoperiodic timer in the pitcher-plant mosquito Wyeomyia smithii across the climatic gradient of eastern North America from Florida to Canada and from the coastal plain to the mountains. We conclude that the photoperiodic timing of seasonal events can evolve independently of the daily circadian clock.

  19. 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.

  20. Gene Regulatory Evolution During Speciation in a Songbird

    PubMed Central

    Davidson, John H.; Balakrishnan, Christopher N.

    2016-01-01

    Over the last decade, tremendous progress has been made toward a comparative understanding of gene regulatory evolution. However, we know little about how gene regulation evolves in birds, and how divergent genomes interact in their hybrids. Because of the unique features of birds – female heterogamety, a highly conserved karyotype, and the slow evolution of reproductive incompatibilities – an understanding of regulatory evolution in birds is critical to a comprehensive understanding of regulatory evolution and its implications for speciation. Using a novel complement of analyses of replicated RNA-seq libraries, we demonstrate abundant divergence in brain gene expression between zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) subspecies. By comparing parental populations and their F1 hybrids, we also show that gene misexpression is relatively rare among brain-expressed transcripts in male birds. If this pattern is consistent across tissues and sexes, it may partially explain the slow buildup of postzygotic reproductive isolation observed in birds relative to other taxa. Although we expected that the action of genetic drift on the island-dwelling zebra finch subspecies would be manifested in a higher rate of trans regulatory divergence, we found that most divergence was in cis regulation, following a pattern commonly observed in other taxa. Thus, our study highlights both unique and shared features of avian regulatory evolution. PMID:26976438

  1. Photoperiod in three xanthium populations from the tropic of cancer in Mexico.

    PubMed

    McMillan, C

    1969-07-18

    Diverse photoperiodic responses were shown by three populations of Xanthium strumarium L. originating between 22 degrees and 25 degrees N on the western coast near Culiacán, Sinaloa; in the Chihuahuan Desert near Matehuala, San Luis Potoś; and on the Gulf Coast near Ciudad Mante, Tamaulipas, respectively. A combination of differences in critical night length and in ripeness-to-flower response (maturity) appears to be the basis for reproductive adaptation of these populations to different climatic regimes that prevail at the same latitude (and photoperiodic regime).

  2. Androgenic induction of brain sexual dimorphism depends on photoperiod in meadow voles.

    PubMed

    Kelly, K K

    1993-02-01

    Male meadow voles maintained in a long photoperiod (LP) from birth have heavier brains than do females, but in short photoperiods (SP) this sex dimorphism is absent. Testosterone propionate (TP) administration on the second day of postnatal life produced significant increases in brain weight of LP but not SP females at 35 days of age. Short daylengths reduce the responsiveness of the meadow vole nervous system to the masculinizing effects of perinatal testosterone and may, in part, mediate the seasonally reduced sex difference in brain weight. PMID:8446686

  3. 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

  4. Methionine enkephalin immunoreactivity in the brain of the budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus): similarities and differences with respect to oscine songbirds.

    PubMed

    Durand, S E; Liang, W; Brauth, S E

    1998-04-01

    The brain of the budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus), a small parrot that acquires new vocalizations throughout life, was examined for immunoreactivity to the opioid peptide methionine enkephalin (mENK). mENK is a highly prominent feature of the chemical architecture of the forebrain vocal system of oscine songbirds. Forebrain vocal control nuclei are believed to have evolved independently in parrots and songbirds (Streidter [1994] J. Comp. Neurol. 343:35-56); however, recent studies have found similarities in the neural organization of vocal control pathways in budgerigars and songbirds (Durand et al. [1997] J. Comp. Neurol. 377:179-206). Among the similarities are the existence of recursive pathways interconnecting vocal control neurons in the archistriatum, basal ganglia (i.e., lobus parolfactorius), and dorsal thalamus. In the present study, we found that all vocal control nuclei within the budgerigar forebrain exhibit prominent mENK-like immunoreactivity (ELI) in fibers and somata. We also found striking similarities between the morphology of ELI elements in budgerigar vocal control nuclei and that described previously in songbird vocal nuclei. Despite these similarities, the budgerigar dorsal striatopallidum (lobus parolfactorius, paleostriatum augmentatum, and paleostriatum primitivum) and somatomotor (anterior) archistriatum exhibit unique patterns of ELI. The dorsal striatopallidum contained far less ELI, whereas the archistriatum contained far more than would be expected on the basis of previous studies of opioid peptides in other avian species, including pigeons, chickens, and songbirds. These differences may reflect neural specializations unique to the budgerigar that contribute to the extraordinary flexibility of the vocal motor system of this species to acquire socially significant stimuli throughout life.

  5. 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. PMID:23420880

  6. 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. PMID:15063923

  7. Persistent Representation of Juvenile Experience in the Adult Songbird Brain

    PubMed Central

    Prather, JF; Peters, S; Nowicki, S; Mooney, R

    2010-01-01

    Juveniles sometimes learn behaviors that they cease to express as adults. Whether the adult brain retains a record of experiences associated with behaviors performed transiently during development remains unclear. We addressed this issue by studying neural representations of song in swamp sparrows, a species in which juveniles learn and practice many more songs than they retain in their adult vocal repertoire. We exposed juvenile swamp sparrows to a suite of tutor songs and confirmed that although many tutor songs were imitated during development, not all copied songs were retained into adulthood. We then recorded extracellularly in the sensorimotor nucleus HVC in anesthetized sparrows to assess neuronal responsiveness to songs in the adult repertoire, tutor songs, and novel songs. Individual HVC neurons almost always responded to songs in the adult repertoire and commonly responded even more strongly to a tutor song. Effective tutor songs were not simply those that were acoustically similar to songs in the adult repertoire. Moreover, the strength of tutor song responses was unrelated to the number of times that the bird sang copies of those songs in juvenile or adult life. Notably, several neurons responded most strongly to a tutor song performed only rarely and transiently during juvenile life, or even to a tutor song for which we could find no evidence of ever having been copied. Thus, HVC neurons representing songs in the adult repertoire also appear to retain a lasting record of certain tutor songs, including those imitated only transiently. PMID:20686001

  8. When taxonomy meets genomics: lessons from a common songbird.

    PubMed

    Lifjeld, Jan T

    2015-06-01

    Taxonomy is being increasingly informed by genomics. Traditionally, taxonomy has relied extensively on phenotypic traits for the identification and delimitation of species, though with a growing influence from molecular phylogenetics in recent decades. Now, genomics opens up new and more powerful tools for analysing the evolutionary history and relatedness among species, as well as understanding the genetic basis for phenotypic traits and their role in reproductive isolation. New insights gained from genomics will therefore have major effects on taxonomic classifications and species delimitation. How a genomics approach can inform a flawed taxonomy is nicely exemplified by Mason & Taylor () in this issue of Molecular Ecology. They studied redpolls, which comprise a genus (Acanthis) of fringillid finches with a wide distribution in the Holarctic region, and whose species taxonomy has been a matter of much controversy for decades (Fig. ). Current authoritative checklists classify them into one, two or three species, and five or six subspecies, based largely on geographical differences in phenotypic traits. Previous studies, including a recent one of the subspecies on Iceland (Amouret et al. ), have found no evidence of differentiation between these taxa in conventional molecular markers. The lack of genetic structure has been interpreted as incomplete lineage sorting among rapidly evolving lineages. Now Mason & Taylor (), using a large data set of genomewide SNPs, verify that they all belong to a single gene pool with a common evolutionary history, and with little or no geographical structuring. They also show that phenotypic traits used in taxonomic classifications (plumage and bill morphology) are closely associated with polygenic patterns of gene expression, presumably driven by ecological selection on a few regulatory genes. Several lessons can be learned from this study. Perhaps the most important one for taxonomy is the risk of taxonomic inflation resulting

  9. 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...

  10. How photoperiods affect the immature development of forensically important blowfly species Chrysomya albiceps (Calliphoridae).

    PubMed

    Mello, Renata da Silva; Borja, Gonzalo Efrain Moya; Queiroz, Margareth Maria de Carvalho

    2012-09-01

    The purpose of this study was to verify the influence of different photoperiods on larval body weight, post-embryonic development, and viability of Chrysomya albiceps. The bioassays were performed in acclimatized chamber at 27 ± 1 °C and 60 ± 10 % relative humidity regulated by three different light and dark cycles for a period of 24 h-12:12, 24:00, and 00:24. Four replications with 50 newly hatched larvae each were used per photoperiod. The larvae were placed in container containing bovine ground meat (50 g). When mature larvae spontaneously abandoned the diet, they were individually weighed and separated into glass tubes until emergence. The larvae that did not abandon the diet were not weighed. The larvae from 24 h of photophase did not abandon the diet and pupated inside, so these larvae were not weighed and the larval and pupal developments were not registered. The mean of larval body weight did not vary between the 24 h scotophase and 12 h photophase. The mean duration of larval developmental time varied significantly when comparing the 24 h scotophase and the 12 h photophase, and the pupal developmental time also varied for the same photoperiods; in both stages, the duration of development was faster in the 24 h scotophase. The developmental time of neo-larvae to adult was verified in all photoperiods and gradually increased as photophase increased. There was a trend to augment of viability with the reduction of photophase length.

  11. Photoperiodic Diapause and the Establishment of Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) in North America.

    PubMed

    Armbruster, Peter A

    2016-09-01

    The invasion and range expansion of Aedes albopictus (Skuse) in North America represents an outstanding opportunity to study processes of invasion, range expansion, and climatic adaptation. Furthermore, knowledge obtained from such research is relevant to developing novel strategies to control this important vector species. Substantial evidence indicates that the photoperiodic diapause response is an important adaptation to climatic variation across the range of Ae. albopictus in North America. Photoperiodic diapause is a key determinant of abundance in both space and time, and the timing of entry into and exit out of diapause strongly affects seasonal population dynamics and thus the potential for arbovirus transmission. Emerging genomic technologies are making it possible to develop high-resolution, genome-wide genetic markers that can be used for genetic mapping of traits relevant to disease transmission and phylogeographic studies to elucidate invasion history. Recent work using next-generation sequencing technologies (e.g., RNA-seq), combined with physiological experiments, has provided extensive insight into the transcriptional basis of the diapause response in Ae. albopictus Applying this knowledge to identify novel targets for vector control represents an important future challenge. Finally, recent studies have begun to identify traits other than diapause that are affected by photoperiodism. Extending this work to identify additional traits influenced by photoperiod should produce important insights into the seasonal biology of Ae. albopictus. PMID:27354438

  12. 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 o