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Sample records for female zebra finches

  1. Female Zebra Finches Smell Their Eggs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah Golüke

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

  2. Social facilitation of male song by male and female conspecifics in the zebra finch, Taeniopygia guttata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jesse, Fabienne; Riebel, Katharina

    2012-11-01

    Zebra finches are a ubiquitous model system for the study of vocal learning in animal communication. Their song has been well described, but its possible function(s) in social communication are only partly understood. The so-called 'directed song' is a high-intensity, high-performance song given during courtship in close proximity to the female, which is known to mediate mate choice and mating. However, this singing mode constitutes only a fraction of zebra finch males' prolific song output. Potential communicative functions of their second, 'undirected' singing mode remain unresolved in the face of contradicting reports of both facilitating and inhibiting effects of social company on singing. We addressed this issue by experimentally manipulating social contexts in a within-subject design, comparing a solo versus male or female only company condition, each lasting for 24h. Males' total song output was significantly higher when a conspecific was in audible and visible distance than when they were alone. Male and female company had an equally facilitating effect on song output. Our findings thus indicate that singing motivation is facilitated rather than inhibited by social company, suggesting that singing in zebra finches might function both in inter- and intrasexual communication. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-04-15

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

  4. An experimental test of condition-dependent male and female mate choice in zebra finches.

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    Marie-Jeanne Holveck

    Full Text Available In mating systems with social monogamy and obligatory bi-parental care, such as found in many songbird species, male and female fitness depends on the combined parental investment. Hence, both sexes should gain from choosing mates in high rather than low condition. However, theory also predicts that an individual's phenotypic quality can constrain choice, if low condition individuals cannot afford prolonged search efforts and/or face higher risk of rejection. In systems with mutual mate choice, the interaction between male and female condition should thus be a better predictor of choice than either factor in isolation. To address this prediction experimentally, we manipulated male and female condition and subsequently tested male and female mating preferences in zebra finches Taeniopygia guttata, a songbird species with mutual mate choice and obligatory bi-parental care. We experimentally altered phenotypic quality by manipulating the brood size in which the birds were reared. Patterns of association for high- or low-condition individuals of the opposite sex differed for male and female focal birds when tested in an 8-way choice arena. Females showed repeatable condition-assortative preferences for males matching their own rearing background. Male preferences were also repeatable, but not predicted by their own or females' rearing background. In combination with a brief review of the literature on condition-dependent mate choice in the zebra finch we discuss whether the observed sex differences and between-studies differences arise because males and females differ in context sensitivity (e.g. male-male competition suppressing male mating preferences, sampling strategies or susceptibility to rearing conditions (e.g. sex-specific effect on physiology. While a picture emerges that juvenile and current state indeed affect preferences, the development and context-dependency of mutual state-dependent mate choice warrants further study.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-02-01

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

  6. Parvalbumin-positive projection neurons characterise the vocal premotor pathway in male, but not female, zebra finches.

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    Wild, J M; Williams, M N; Suthers, R A

    2001-11-02

    Parvalbumin (PV) and calbindin (CB) immunoreactivities were assessed in nucleus robustus archistriatalis (RA) of male and female zebra finches, together with retrograde labelling of RA neurons. The results of double and triple labelling experiments suggested that, in males, moderately and faintly PV-positive neurons were projection neurons, but that all intensely PV-positive cells were not. The latter, which are presumably interneurons, were also intensely CB-positive, and may correspond to the GABAergic inhibitory interneurons identified by others. In addition, the complete RA pathway and its terminal fields in the respiratory-vocal nuclei of the brainstem were strongly PV-positive. In female zebra finches, which do not sing, no evidence was found that PV-positive RA cells were projection neurons, yet the pattern of projections of RA neurons, as determined by anterograde transport of biotinylated dextran amine, was very similar to that of RA in males. Moreover, in females, RA neurons retrogradely labelled from injections of cholera toxin B-chain into the tracheosyringeal nucleus (XIIts) were abundant and included, in the lateral part of the nucleus, a population of cells that were as large as those in the male RA. Parvalbumin immunoreactivity was also present in RA and its projections in males of several other songbird species (northern cardinal, brown headed cowbird, canary) and in the female cardinal, which sings to some extent, but the labelling was not as intense as that in male zebra finches.

  7. Female conspecifics restore rhythmic singing behaviour in arrhythmic male zebra finches

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    NEELU ANAND JHA; VINOD KUMAR

    2017-03-01

    The present study investigated whether pairing with a conspecific female would restore rhythmicity in the singingbehaviour of arrhythmic male songbirds. We recorded the singing and, as the circadian response indicator, monitoredthe activity–rest pattern in male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) housed without or with a conspecific femaleunder 12 h light: 12 h darkness (12L:12D) or constant bright light (LLbright). Both unpaired and paired birds exhibiteda significant daily rhythm in the singing and activity behaviour, but paired birds, under 12L:12D, showed a ~2 hextension in the evening. Exposure to LLbright decayed rhythmicity, but the female presence restored rhythmic patternswithout affecting the 24 h song output. In the acoustic features, we found a significant difference in the motif durationbetween unpaired and paired male songs. Overall, these results demonstrated for the first time the role of the female inrestoring the circadian phenotype of singing behaviour in male songbirds with disrupted circadian functions, althoughhow interaction between sexes affects the circadian timing of male singing is not understood yet. It is suggested thatsocial cues rendered by a conspecific female could improve the circadian performance by restoring rhythmicity in thebiological functions of the cohabiting arrhythmic male partner.

  8. Calbindin-D28K expression increases in the dorsolateral hippocampus following corticosterone treatment in female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata).

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    Ash, Ashley L; Saldanha, Colin J; Bailey, David J

    2012-03-01

    The hippocampus (HP) in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) is important in the consolidation of spatial memories. Chronic, elevated levels of steroid hormones, like the glucocorticoids, can decrease this type of memory function in birds and mammals; neuronal atrophy, loss, and a decrease in synaptic contacts in the mammalian HP are observed as the underlying cause. Calbindin-D28k is constitutively expressed in cells of the nervous system but increases in concentration following a neurotoxic insult, protecting neurons against apoptotic cell death. We hypothesized that treatment of female zebra finches with a glucocorticoid (corticosterone) would increase calbindin expression in the HP and the caudomedial nidopallium (NCM), a region important for perceptual (song) memories, relative to "blank" controls. Additionally, because the HP in zebra finches appears similar to that in mammals, based on a variety of structural and functional factors, and as particular regions of the HP in mammals are more vulnerable to glucocorticoid-induced damage, we also hypothesized that expression of calbindin would vary among the HP subdivisions. Overall levels of calbindin were higher in the HP of corticosterone-treated birds, due almost entirely to elevated calbindin expression in the dorsolateral subdivision of the HP only. In contrast, the dorsomedial HP, ventral HP, and NCM appear less affected by glucocorticoid exposure. These results suggest a role for glucocorticoids in the modulation of HP- but not NCM-dependent memories as well as a further functional differentiation among the HP subdivisions.

  9. Song Recognition in Zebra Finches: Are There Sensitive Periods for Song Memorization?

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    Braaten, Richard F.

    2010-01-01

    Male zebra finches learn to sing songs that they hear between 25 and 65 days of age, the sensitive period for song learning. In this experiment, male and female zebra finches were exposed to zebra finch songs either before (n = 9) or during (n = 4) the sensitive period. Following song exposure, recognition memory for the songs was assessed with an…

  10. Sexual imprinting on continuous variation: do female zebra finches prefer or avoid unfamiliar sons of their foster parents?

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    Schielzeth, H; Burger, C; Bolund, E; Forstmeier, W

    2008-09-01

    Sexual imprinting on discrete variation that serves the identification of species, morphs or sexes is well documented. By contrast, sexual imprinting on continuous variation leading to individual differences in mating preferences within a single species, morph and sex has been studied only once (in humans). We measured female preferences in a captive population of wild-type zebra finches. Individual cross-fostering ensured that all subjects grew up with unrelated foster parents and nest mates. Females from two cohorts (N = 113) were given a simultaneous choice between (two or four) unfamiliar males, one of which was a genetic son of their foster parents (SFP). We found no significant overall preference for the SFP (combined effect size d = 0.14 +/- 0.15). Additionally, we tested if foster parent traits could potentially explain between-female variation in preferences. However, neither the effectiveness of cooperation between the parents nor male contribution to parental care affected female preferences for the son of the foster father. We conclude that at least in zebra finches sexual imprinting is not a major source of between-individual variation in mating preferences.

  11. A Minimally-Invasive Procedure for Sexing Young Zebra Finches

    OpenAIRE

    Soderstrom, Ken; Qin, Weixi; Leggett, Matthew H.

    2007-01-01

    Zebra finches have been widely used to study neurobiology underlying vocal development. Because only male zebra finches learn song, efficient developmental use of these animals requires early determination of sex at ages that precede maturation of secondary sex characteristics. We have developed a sex determination method that combines a forensics method of genomic DNA isolation (from very small blood samples) with PCR amplification from Z and W sex chromosomes (males are ZZ, females ZW). Thi...

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

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

    2008-10-01

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

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

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    Chantal, Véronique; Gibelli, Julie; Dubois, Frédérique

    2016-01-01

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

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

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    Véronique Chantal

    2016-08-01

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

  15. Dynamics of zebra finch and mockingbird vocalizations

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    Cimenser, Aylin

    Along with humans, whales, and bats, three groups of birds which include songbirds (oscines) such as the Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata) and Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) are the only creatures known to learn sounds by imitation. Numerous similarities between human and songbird vocalizations exist and, recently, it has been shown that Zebra Finch in particular possesses a gene, FoxP2, known to be involved in human language. This thesis investigates song development in Zebra Finches, as well as the temporal dynamics of song in Mockingbirds. Zebra Finches have long been the system of choice for studying vocal development, ontogeny, and complexity in birdsong. Physicists find them intriguing because the spectrally complex vocalizations of the Zebra Finch can exhibit sudden transitions to chaotic dynamics, period doubling & mode-locking phenomena. Mockingbirds, by contrast, provide an ideal system to examine the richness of an avian repertoire, since these musically versatile songbirds typically know upwards of 200 songs. To analyse birdsong data, we have developed a novel clustering algorithm that can be applied to the bird's syllables, tracing their dynamics back to the earliest stages of vocal development. To characterize birdsong we have used Fourier techniques, based upon multitaper spectral analysis, to optimally work around the constraints imposed by (Heisenberg's) time-frequency uncertainty principle. Furthermore, estimates that provide optimal compromise between frequency and temporal resolution have beautiful connections with solutions to the Helmholtz wave equation in prolate spheroidal coordinates. We have used this connection to provide firm foundation for certain heuristics used in the literature to compute associated spectral derivatives and supply a pedagogical account here in this thesis. They are of interest because spectral derivatives emphasize sudden changes in the dynamics of the underlying phenomenon, and often provide a nice way to visualize

  16. Learning to cope with degraded sounds: female zebra finches can improve their expertise in discriminating between male voices at long distances.

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

    2014-09-01

    Reliable transmission of acoustic information about individual identity is of critical importance for pair bond maintenance in numerous monogamous songbirds. However, information transfer can be impaired by environmental constraints such as external noise or propagation-induced degradation. Birds have been shown to use several adaptive strategies to deal with difficult signal transmission contexts. Specifically, a number of studies have suggested that vocal plasticity at the emitter's level allows birds to counteract the deleterious effects of sound degradation. Although the communication process involves both the emitter and the receiver, perceptual plasticity at the receiver's level has received little attention. Here, we explored the reliability of individual recognition by female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata), testing whether perceptual training can improve discrimination of degraded individual vocal signatures. We found that female zebra finches are proficient in discriminating between calls of individual males at long distances, and even more so when they can train themselves with increasingly degraded signals over time. In this latter context, females succeed in discriminating between males as far as 250 m. This result emphasizes that adaptation to adverse communication conditions may involve not only the emitter's vocal plasticity but also the receptor's decoding process through on-going learning. © 2014. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  17. Experimental manipulation of the rearing environment influences adult female zebra finch song preferences

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Riebel, K.; Naguib, M.; Gil, D.

    2009-01-01

    In songbirds, sensory and social learning processes in juveniles contribute to variation in male song and female preferences. The developmental stress hypothesis proposes that suboptimal early development affects the costly brain structures involved in male song learning and, as a consequence, song

  18. CONSOLIDATION AND MODIFICATION OF SEXUAL PREFERENCES IN ADULT MALE ZEBRA FINCHES

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    KRUIJT, JP; MEEUWISSEN, GB

    1993-01-01

    In a previous study (KRUIJT & MEEUWISSEN, 1991) we examined the sexual preference of cross-fostered zebra finch (= Z) males that were reared by Bengalese finch (= B) parents and then isolated until the adult stage. Males then given a choice between a Z and a B female, directed most courtship and son

  19. Cave crawling in zebra Finch skulls

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Ole Næsbye; Salomon, Rasmus; Jensen, Kenneth Kragh

    2014-01-01

    by anatomical adaptations during evolution. A closer inspection of the zebra finch cranium using micro-CT scanning reveals that not only is IAC trabeculated and irregularly shaped but it also communicates with a set of highly complex, air-filled canals in the skull extending to the base of the beak. We tested...... the possible influence of these communicating cavities by measuring eardrum directionality and interaural transmission before and after filling the frontal cavities with dyed fat but found no dramatic effects. We will discuss what function the cavities serve and whether the ICA should be represented...

  20. Cave crawling in zebra finch skulls

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Ole Næsbye; Salomon, Rasmus; Jensen, Kenneth Kragh

    are acoustically coupled through an air-filled interaural canal (IAC) often illustrated and modelled as a simple tube, which allows sound to propagate through the skull from one ear to the other and considerably enhance the cues for directional hearing. Theoretically, different combinations of frequency dependent......Cave crawling in zebra finch skulls: what is the functional interaural canal? Ole Næsbye Larsen, Rasmus Salomon, Kenneth Kragh Jensen, and Jakob Christensen-Dalsgaard Department of Biology, University of Southern Denmark, Campusvej 55, DK-5230 Odense M, Denmark The middle ears of birds...... is IAC trabeculated and irregularly shaped but it also communicates with a set of highly complex, air-filled canals in the skull extending to the base of the beak. We tested the possible influence of these communicating cavities by measuring eardrum directionality and interaural transmission before...

  1. The zebra finch neuropeptidome: prediction, detection and expression

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    Annangudi Suresh P

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Among songbirds, the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata is an excellent model system for investigating the neural mechanisms underlying complex behaviours such as vocal communication, learning and social interactions. Neuropeptides and peptide hormones are cell-to-cell signalling molecules known to mediate similar behaviours in other animals. However, in the zebra finch, this information is limited. With the newly-released zebra finch genome as a foundation, we combined bioinformatics, mass-spectrometry (MS-enabled peptidomics and molecular techniques to identify the complete suite of neuropeptide prohormones and final peptide products and their distributions. Results Complementary bioinformatic resources were integrated to survey the zebra finch genome, identifying 70 putative prohormones. Ninety peptides derived from 24 predicted prohormones were characterized using several MS platforms; tandem MS confirmed a majority of the sequences. Most of the peptides described here were not known in the zebra finch or other avian species, although homologous prohormones exist in the chicken genome. Among the zebra finch peptides discovered were several unique vasoactive intestinal and adenylate cyclase activating polypeptide 1 peptides created by cleavage at sites previously unreported in mammalian prohormones. MS-based profiling of brain areas required for singing detected 13 peptides within one brain nucleus, HVC; in situ hybridization detected 13 of the 15 prohormone genes examined within at least one major song control nucleus. Expression mapping also identified prohormone messenger RNAs in areas associated with spatial learning and social behaviours. Based on the whole-genome analysis, 40 prohormone probes were found on a commonly used zebra finch brain microarray. Analysis of these newly annotated transcripts revealed that six prohormone probes showed altered expression after birds heard song playbacks in a paradigm of song

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baran, Nicole M; Adkins-Regan, Elizabeth

    2014-01-01

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

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

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

    2011-01-01

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

  4. Sex-specific effects of yolk testosterone on survival, begging and growth of zebra finches

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    von Engelhardt, N; Carere, C; Dijkstra, C; Groothuis, TGG

    2006-01-01

    Yolk androgens affect offspring hatching, begging, growth and survival in many bird species. If these effects are sex-specific, yolk androgen deposition may constitute a mechanism for differential investment in male and female offspring. We tested this hypothesis in zebra finches. In this species,

  5. Vocal tract articulation in zebra finches.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Verena R Ohms

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

  6. SEX RECOGNITION IN ZEBRA FINCH MALES RESULTS FROM EARLY EXPERIENCE

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    VOS, DR

    1994-01-01

    This study investigated whether sexual imprinting plays a role in the recognition of the sex of conspecifics. Subjects were zebra finch males that had been raised with either normal pairs, white pairs or pairs of both morphs. They were tested for their preferences in six two-stimuli tests covering a

  7. Brood size and immunity costs in zebra finches Taeniopygia guttata

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verhulst, S; Riedstra, B; Wiersma, P

    2005-01-01

    Birds rearing experimentally enlarged broods have lower antibody responses to a novel antigen, and we tested three hypotheses that could explain this result. We used zebra finches Taeniopygia guttata inoculated with sheep red blood cells (SRBC) as a study system, for which this trade-off was previou

  8. Singing-Related Activity in Anterior Forebrain of Male Zebra Finches Reflects Courtship Motivation for Target Females

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iwasaki, Mai; Poulsen, Thomas M.; Oka, Kotaro; Hessler, Neal A.

    2013-01-01

    A critical function of singing by male songbirds is to attract a female mate. Previous studies have suggested that the anterior forebrain system is involved in this courtship behavior. Neural activity in this system, including the striatal Area X, is strikingly dependent on the function of male singing. When males sing to attract a female bird rather than while alone, less variable neural activity results in less variable song spectral features, which may be attractive to the female. These characteristics of neural activity and singing thus may reflect a male's motivation for courtship. Here, we compared the variability of neural activity and song features between courtship singing directed to a female with whom a male had previously formed a pair-bond or to other females. Surprisingly, across all units, there was no clear tendency for a difference in variability of neural activity or song features between courtship of paired females, nonpaired females, or dummy females. However, across the population of recordings, there was a significant relationship between the relative variability of syllable frequency and neural activity: when syllable frequency was less variable to paired than nonpaired females, neural activity was also less variable (and vice-versa). These results show that the lower variability of neural activity and syllable frequency during directed singing is not a binary distinction from undirected singing, but can vary in intensity, possibly related to the relative preference of a male for his singing target. PMID:24312344

  9. Analysis of CR1 Repeats in the Zebra Finch Genome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    George E. Liu

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Most bird species have smaller genomes and fewer repeats than mammals. Chicken Repeat 1 (CR1 repeat is one of the most abundant families of repeats, ranging from ~133,000 to ~187,000 copies accounting for ~50 to ~80% of the interspersed repeats in the zebra finch and chicken genomes, respectively. CR1 repeats are believed to have arisen from the retrotransposition of a small number of master elements, which gave rise to multiple CR1 subfamilies in the chicken. In this study, we performed a global assessment of the divergence distributions, phylogenies, and consensus sequences of CR1 repeats in the zebra finch genome. We identified and validated 34 CR1 subfamilies and further analyzed the correlation between these subfamilies. We also discovered 4 novel lineage-specific CR1 subfamilies in the zebra finch when compared to the chicken genome. We built various evolutionary trees of these subfamilies and concluded that CR1 repeats may play an important role in reshaping the structure of bird genomes.

  10. Food preference and copying behaviour in zebra finches, Taeniopygia guttata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guillette, Lauren M; Morgan, Kate V; Hall, Zachary J; Bailey, Ida E; Healy, Susan D

    2014-11-01

    As a social species zebra finches might be expected to copy the food choices of more experienced conspecifics. This prediction has been tested previously by presenting observers with two demonstrator birds that differ in some way (e.g., sex, familiarity), each feeding on a different colour food source. However, if the observer subsequently exhibits a preference, it is unclear whether it has copied the choice of one demonstrator or avoided the choice of the other. Furthermore, this choice may actually be influenced by pre-existing preferences, a potential bias that is rarely tested. Here we examine whether apparent copying or avoidance can be explained by pre-existing preferences. In Experiment 1, observers had the opportunity to watch a conspecific forage from one of the two differently coloured food hoppers. In Experiment 2, the observers did not have this opportunity. In both experiments observers were subsequently tested for their food hopper preference and all but one preferred one colour over the other. In Experiment 1 some observers showed evidence for copying, while others seemed to avoid the colour preferred by the demonstrator. In Experiment 2 females generally preferred the white hopper. Pre-existing colour preferences could, therefore, explain the apparent copying/avoidance we observed. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Cognition in the wild. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

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    Andries Ter Maat

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  13. Maternal effects underlie ageing costs of growth in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata.

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    Mathilde L Tissier

    Full Text Available Maternal effects provide a mechanism to adapt offspring phenotype and optimize the mother's fitness to current environmental conditions. Transferring steroids to the yolk is one way mothers can translate environmental information into potential adaptive signals for offspring. However, maternally-derived hormones might also have adverse effects for offspring. For example, recent data in zebra finch chicks suggested that ageing related-processes (i.e. oxidative stress and telomere loss were increased after egg-injection of corticosterone (CORT. Still, we have few experimental data describing the effect of maternal effects on the growth-ageing trade-off in offspring. Here, we chronically treated pre-laying zebra finch females (Taeniopygia guttata with 17-β-estradiol (E2 or CORT, and followed offspring growth and cellular ageing rates (oxidative stress and telomere loss. CORT treatment decreased growth rate in male chicks and increased rate of telomere loss in mothers and female offspring. E2 increased body mass gain in male offspring, while reducing oxidative stress in both sexes but without affecting telomere loss. Since shorter telomeres were previously found to be a proxy of individual lifespan in zebra finches, maternal effects may, through pleiotropic effects, be important determinants of offspring life-expectancy by modulating ageing rate during embryo and post-natal growth.

  14. An eye for beauty: lateralized visual stimulation of courtship behavior and mate preferences in male zebra finches, Taeniopygia guttata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Templeton, Jennifer J; McCracken, Brianna G; Sher, Melissa; Mountjoy, D James

    2014-02-01

    Research on intersexual selection focuses on traits that have evolved for attracting mates and the consequences of mate choice. However, little is known about the cognitive and neural mechanisms that allow choosers to discriminate among potential mates and express an attraction to specific traits. Preferential use of the right eye during lateral displays in zebra finches, and lateralized expression of intermediate early genes in the left hemisphere during courtship led us to hypothesize that: (1) visual information from each eye differentially mediates courtship responses to potential mates; and (2) the ability to discriminate among mates and prefer certain mates over others is lateralized in the right eye/left hemisphere system of zebra finch brains. First, we exposed male zebra finches to females when using left, right or both eyes. Males courted more when the right eye was available than when only the left eye was used. Secondly, male preference for females - using beak color to indicate female quality - was tested. Right-eyed and binocular males associated with and courted orange-beaked more than gray-beaked females; whereas left-eyed males showed no preference. Lateral displays and eye use in male zebra finches increase their attractiveness and ability to assess female quality, potentially enhancing reproductive success. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: CO3 2013.

  15. Sexual Dimorphism in the Early Embryogenesis in Zebra Finches.

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    Makhsud Tagirov

    Full Text Available Sex-specific gene expression before the onset of gonadogensis has been documented in embryos of mammals and chickens. In several mammalian species, differences in gene expression are accompanied by faster growth of pre-implantation male embryos. Here we asked whether avian embryos before gonadal differentiation are also sex-dimorphic in size and what genes regulate their growth. We used captive zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata whose freshly laid eggs were artificially incubated for 36-40 hours. Analyses controlling for the exact time of incubation of 81 embryos revealed that males were larger than females in terms of Hamburger and Hamilton stage and number of somites. Expression of 15 genes involved in cell cycle regulation, growth, metabolic activity, steroidogenic pathway and stress modulation were measured using RT-PCR in 5 male and 5 female embryos incubated for exactly 36 h. We found that in the presence of equal levels of the growth hormone itself, the faster growth of male embryos is most likely achieved by the overexpression of the growth hormone receptor gene and three other genes responsible for cell cycle regulation and metabolism, all of them located on the Z chromosome. Autosomal genes did not show sex-specific expression, except for the steroidogenic factor 1 which was expressed only in female embryos. To our knowledge this is the first report of sexual size dimorphism before gonadogenesis in birds. The finding suggests that faster growth of early male embryos is conserved through the mammalian and bird phyla, irrespective of their differential sex chromosome systems.

  16. Sexual Dimorphism in the Early Embryogenesis in Zebra Finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tagirov, Makhsud; Rutkowska, Joanna

    2014-01-01

    Sex-specific gene expression before the onset of gonadogensis has been documented in embryos of mammals and chickens. In several mammalian species, differences in gene expression are accompanied by faster growth of pre-implantation male embryos. Here we asked whether avian embryos before gonadal differentiation are also sex-dimorphic in size and what genes regulate their growth. We used captive zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) whose freshly laid eggs were artificially incubated for 36-40 hours. Analyses controlling for the exact time of incubation of 81 embryos revealed that males were larger than females in terms of Hamburger and Hamilton stage and number of somites. Expression of 15 genes involved in cell cycle regulation, growth, metabolic activity, steroidogenic pathway and stress modulation were measured using RT-PCR in 5 male and 5 female embryos incubated for exactly 36 h. We found that in the presence of equal levels of the growth hormone itself, the faster growth of male embryos is most likely achieved by the overexpression of the growth hormone receptor gene and three other genes responsible for cell cycle regulation and metabolism, all of them located on the Z chromosome. Autosomal genes did not show sex-specific expression, except for the steroidogenic factor 1 which was expressed only in female embryos. To our knowledge this is the first report of sexual size dimorphism before gonadogenesis in birds. The finding suggests that faster growth of early male embryos is conserved through the mammalian and bird phyla, irrespective of their differential sex chromosome systems.

  17. Maternal effects in quail and zebra finches: Behavior and hormones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adkins-Regan, Elizabeth; Banerjee, Sunayana B; Correa, Stephanie M; Schweitzer, Cécile

    2013-09-01

    Maternal effects are influences of parents on offspring phenotype occurring through pathways other than inherited DNA. In birds, two important routes for such transmission are parental behavior and non-DNA egg constituents such as yolk hormones. Offspring traits subject to parental effects include behavior and endocrine function. Research from the Adkins-Regan lab has used three avian species to investigate maternal effects related to hormones and behavior. Experiments with chickens and Japanese quail have shown that maternal sex steroids can influence sex determination to produce biased offspring sex ratios. Because all birds have a ZZ/ZW chromosomal sex determining system in which the female parent determines the sex of the offspring, these results raise the possibility that maternal steroids can influence the outcome of sex chromosome meiosis. Learning has been shown to influence egg investment by female quail in ways that are likely to alter offspring phenotype. In quail, embryonic and exogenous sex steroids have well established and long-lasting effects on sexual differentiation of behavior during a critical period in ovo, but elevated yolk testosterone has long-term effects on behavior that do not seem to be occurring through an alteration in sexual differentiation. In biparental zebra finches, removal of mothers alters not only later behavior, but also the adult response of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis to an environmental stressor, as indicated by plasma corticosterone. Birds raised only by fathers have lower levels of mRNA for both glucocorticoid receptors in several brain regions as adults. These studies add to the evidence that one generation influences the behavioral or endocrine phenotype of the next through routes other than transmission of DNA. Additional research will be required to understand the adaptive significance of these effects.

  18. Drinking songs: alcohol effects on learned song of zebra finches.

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    Christopher R Olson

    Full Text Available Speech impairment is one of the most intriguing and least understood effects of alcohol on cognitive function, largely due to the lack of data on alcohol effects on vocalizations in the context of an appropriate experimental model organism. Zebra finches, a representative songbird and a premier model for understanding the neurobiology of vocal production and learning, learn song in a manner analogous to how humans learn speech. Here we show that when allowed access, finches readily drink alcohol, increase their blood ethanol concentrations (BEC significantly, and sing a song with altered acoustic structure. The most pronounced effects were decreased amplitude and increased entropy, the latter likely reflecting a disruption in the birds' ability to maintain the spectral structure of song under alcohol. Furthermore, specific syllables, which have distinct acoustic structures, were differentially influenced by alcohol, likely reflecting a diversity in the neural mechanisms required for their production. Remarkably, these effects on vocalizations occurred without overt effects on general behavioral measures, and importantly, they occurred within a range of BEC that can be considered risky for humans. Our results suggest that the variable effects of alcohol on finch song reflect differential alcohol sensitivity of the brain circuitry elements that control different aspects of song production. They also point to finches as an informative model for understanding how alcohol affects the neuronal circuits that control the production of learned motor behaviors.

  19. Developmental origins of mosaic brain evolution: Morphometric analysis of the developing zebra finch brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charvet, Christine J; Striedter, Georg F

    2009-05-10

    In adult zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata), the telencephalon occupies 64% of the entire brain. This fraction is similar to what is seen in parrots, but many other birds possess a significantly smaller telencephalon. The aim of the present study was to determine the developmental time course and cellular basis of telencephalic enlargement in zebra finches, and then to compare these findings with what is known about telencephalic enlargement in other birds. To this end we estimated the volumes of all major brain regions from serial sections in embryonic and post-hatching zebra finches. We also labeled proliferating cells with antibodies against proliferating cell nuclear antigen and phosphorylated histone H3. An important finding to emerge from this work is that the telencephalon of zebra finches at hatching contains a thick proliferative subventricular zone (SVZ) that extends from the subpallium into the dorsal pallium. The data also show that the onset and offset of telencephalic neurogenesis are both delayed in zebra finches relative to quail (Galliformes). This delay in neurogenesis, in conjunction with the expanded SVZ, probably accounts for most of the telencephalic enlargement in passerines such as the zebra finch. In addition, passerines enlarged their telencephalon by decreasing the proportional size of their midbrain tectum. Because the presumptive tectum is proportionally smaller in zebra finches than quail before neurogenesis begins, this difference in tectum size cannot be due to evolutionary alterations in neurogenesis timing. Collectively these findings indicate that several different developmental mechanisms underlie the evolution of a large telencephalon in passerines.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. Methylmercury Exposure Reduces the Auditory Brainstem Response of Zebra Finches (Taeniopygia guttata )

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Wolf, Sarah E; Swaddle, John P; Cristol, Daniel A; Buchser, William J

    2017-01-01

    ...) by studying their auditory brainstem responses (ABRs). Zebra finches exposed to mercury exhibited elevated hearing thresholds, decreased amplitudes, and longer latencies in the ABR, the first evidence of mercury-induced hearing impairment in birds...

  2. Genomic and neural analysis of the estradiol-synthetic pathway in the zebra finch

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    London, Sarah E; Clayton, David F

    2010-01-01

    .... Here, we analyzed the zebra finch genome assembly to assess the content, conservation, and organization of genes that code for components of the estrogen-synthetic pathway and steroid nuclear receptors...

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

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    Dennis Eckmeier

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guillette, Lauren M; Healy, Susan D

    2016-12-30

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

  7. Autoradiographic localization of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the brain of the zebra finch (Poephila guttata)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Watson, J.T.; Adkins-Regan, E.; Whiting, P.; Lindstrom, J.M.; Podleski, T.R.

    1988-08-08

    We have localized nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the zebra finch brain by using three 125I-labelled ligands: alpha bungarotoxin and two monoclonal antibodies to neuronal nicotinic receptors. Unfixed brains from intact adult male and female zebra finches were prepared for in vitro autoradiography. Low-resolution film autoradiograms and high-resolution emulsion autoradiograms were prepared for each of the three ligands. The major brain structures that bind all three of the ligands are hippocampus; hyperstriatum dorsalis; hyperstriatum ventralis; nucleus lentiformis mesencephali; nucleus pretectalis, some layers of the optic tectum; nucleus mesencephalicus lateralis; pars dorsalis; locus ceruleus; and all cranial motor nuclei except nucleus nervi hypoglossi. The major structures labelled only by (125I)-alpha bungarotoxin binding included hyperstriatum accessorium and the nuclei: preopticus medialis, medialis hypothalami posterioris, semilunaris, olivarius inferior, and the periventricular organ. Of the song control nuclei, nucleus magnocellularis of the anterior neostriatum; hyperstriatum ventralis, pars caudalis; nucleus intercollicularis; and nucleus hypoglossus were labelled. The binding patterns of the two antibodies were similar to one another but not identical. Both labelled nucleus spiriformis lateralis and nucleus geniculatus lateralis, pars ventralis especially heavily and also labelled the nucleus habenula medialis; nucleus subpretectalis; nucleus isthmi, pars magnocellularis; nucleus reticularis gigantocellularis; nucleus reticularis lateralis; nucleus tractus solitarii; nucleus vestibularis dorsolateralis; nucleus vestibularis lateralis; nucleus descendens nervi trigemini; and the deep cerebellar nuclei.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nina Kniel

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kniel, Nina; Bender, Stefanie; Witte, Klaudia

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krause, E Tobias

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  12. Enhanced fos expression in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) brain following first courtship.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sadananda, Monika; Bischof, Hans-Joachim

    2002-06-24

    Young zebra finch males that court a female for the first time develop a stable preference for the females of that species. On the neuronal level, consolidation of the imprinted information takes place. Here we demonstrate that first courtship or being chased around in the cage leads to enhanced fos expression in forebrain areas implicated in learning and imprinting in zebra finch males compared with birds reared in isolation or in the aviary. Two of the forebrain areas highly active during first courtship (as demonstrated by the 14C-2-deoxyglucose technique), the imprinting locus latral neo/hyperstriatum ventrale (LNH) and the secondary visual area hyperstriatum accessorium/dorsale (HAD), demonstrate enhanced fos expression. Two other imprinting-related areas, the medial neo/hyperstriatum ventrale (MNH) and archistriatum/neostriatum caudale (ANC), do show c-fos induction; however, the areas are not congruous with those demarcated by the 2-DG autoradiographic studies. Additional telencephalic areas include the olfactory lobe, the information storage site lobus parolfactorius (LPO), the memory site hippocampus, the auditory caudomedial neostriatum implicated in the strength of song learning, and the caudolateral neostriatum, which is comparable to the mammalian prefrontal cortex. In addition, c-fos is induced by first courtship and chasing in neurosecretory cell groups of the preoptic area and hypothalamus associated with the repertoire of sexual behavior and stress or enhanced arousal. Enhanced fos expression is also observed in brainstem sources of specific (noradrenergic, catecholaminergic) and nonspecific (reticular formation) activating pathways with inputs to higher brain areas implicated in the imprinting process. Birds reared in isolation or alternatively in the aviary with social and sexual contact to conspecifics showed attenuated or no fos expression in most of the above-mentioned areas. First courtship and chasing both lead to enhanced uptake of 2-DG in

  13. Infestation of research zebra finch colony with 2 novel mite species.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noreen, Elin; Bourgeon, Sophie; Bech, Claus

    2011-07-01

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

  15. Song exposure regulates known and novel microRNAs in the zebra finch auditory forebrain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kim Jong H

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In an important model for neuroscience, songbirds learn to discriminate songs they hear during tape-recorded playbacks, as demonstrated by song-specific habituation of both behavioral and neurogenomic responses in the auditory forebrain. We hypothesized that microRNAs (miRNAs or miRs may participate in the changing pattern of gene expression induced by song exposure. To test this, we used massively parallel Illumina sequencing to analyse small RNAs from auditory forebrain of adult zebra finches exposed to tape-recorded birdsong or silence. Results In the auditory forebrain, we identified 121 known miRNAs conserved in other vertebrates. We also identified 34 novel miRNAs that do not align to human or chicken genomes. Five conserved miRNAs showed significant and consistent changes in copy number after song exposure across three biological replications of the song-silence comparison, with two increasing (tgu-miR-25, tgu-miR-192 and three decreasing (tgu-miR-92, tgu-miR-124, tgu-miR-129-5p. We also detected a locus on the Z sex chromosome that produces three different novel miRNAs, with supporting evidence from Northern blot and TaqMan qPCR assays for differential expression in males and females and in response to song playbacks. One of these, tgu-miR-2954-3p, is predicted (by TargetScan to regulate eight song-responsive mRNAs that all have functions in cellular proliferation and neuronal differentiation. Conclusions The experience of hearing another bird singing alters the profile of miRNAs in the auditory forebrain of zebra finches. The response involves both known conserved miRNAs and novel miRNAs described so far only in the zebra finch, including a novel sex-linked, song-responsive miRNA. These results indicate that miRNAs are likely to contribute to the unique behavioural biology of learned song communication in songbirds.

  16. Evidence for the involvement of two areas of the zebra finch forebrain in sexual imprinting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rollenhagen, A; Bischof, H J

    2000-03-01

    Sexual imprinting in male zebra finches is a two-step process, including an acquisition period early in life and a stabilization process normally occuring during the first courtship attempts of the male. During the acquisition period, a young male learns about its social environment. During stabilization, which can be delayed experimentally until day 100, it develops a preference for the appropriate object for courtship behavior on the basis of its previous and acute experience. Thereafter, this preference cannot be altered again. Exploring the physiological basis for imprinting, we have previously shown that the neurons of two forebrain areas (ANC and HAD) increase their spine density in the course of the stabilization process, while in two other areas (MNH and LNH) a decrease of spine density can be observed. With the present experiments, we tested the idea that the spine density decrease in MNH and LNH is the anatomical manifestation of the imprinting process. Previous behavioral experiments have shown that exposure to a nestbox after 100 days of age stabilizes the sexual preference of a zebra finch male as well as does exposure to a female. The present study shows that nestbox exposure also reduces the spine density in MNH and LNH, but has no effect on ANC and HAD. It has also been shown previously that treating males with an antiandrogen between days 40 and 100 affects the final preference of a male. The present experiment indicates that the same treatment affects spine growth during development in MNH and LNH and prevents the increase of spine density within HAD and ANC normally induced by exposure to a female. The results are interpreted as strong evidence for the involvement of MNH and LNH in sexual imprinting. Copyright 2000 Academic Press.

  17. Telomere length correlations among somatic tissues in adult zebra finches.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sophie Reichert

    Full Text Available Telomeres are repetitive non coding DNA sequences located at the end of eukaryotic chromosomes, which maintain the integrity of the genome by hiding the chromosome ends from being recognised as double stranded breaks. Telomeres are emerging as biomarkers for ageing and survival, and are susceptible to reflect different individual life history trajectories. In particular, the telomere length with which one starts in life has been shown to be linked with individual life-long survival, suggesting that telomere dynamics can be a proxy for individual fitness and thereby be implicated in evolutionary trade-offs. As a consequence, an increasing number of studies were conducted on telomeres in the fields of ecology and evolutionary biology, in which telomere length was almost exclusively measured from blood samples. However, not only do the number of repeats of the telomeric sequences vary among species, but also within species with great inter-individual telomere lengths variability with age, tissues, and chromosomes. This raises the issue of the exact biological meaning of telomere measurement in blood cells and stimulated the study of the correlation of telomere lengths among tissues over age. By measuring telomere length in adult zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata in different somatic tissues displaying variable cell turnovers (bone marrow, brain, spleen, pectoral muscle, heart, liver and in red blood cells, we checked that the measure of telomere length in red blood cells is related to telomere lengths in the other tissues. Here we show significant relationships between the telomere lengths of red blood cells and several somatic tissues at adulthood. As red blood cells are easily accessible and suitable for the longitudinal monitoring of the individual rate of telomere loss, our study confirms that telomere length measured in red blood cells could serve as a surrogate for telomere length in the whole avian organism.

  18. Early experience and plasticity of song in adult male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jones, AE; TenCate, C; Slater, PJB

    1996-01-01

    Zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) learn song primarily at 35-65 days of age, but birds deprived of experience at that stage may modify their songs later. Experiments on 5 groups examined the effect of varying early social experience on the plasticity of adult song. Major changes of song in adultho

  19. Bird brains and songs : Neural mechanisms of auditory memory and perception in zebra finches

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gobes, S.M.H.

    2009-01-01

    Songbirds, such as zebra finches, learn their songs from a ‘tutor’ (usually the father), early in life. There are strong parallels between the behavioural, cognitive and neural processes that underlie vocal learning in humans and songbirds. In both cases there is a sensitive period for auditory lear

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roy, Arani; Mooney, Richard

    2009-08-01

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

  1. A three-dimensional MRI atlas of the zebra finch brain in stereotaxic coordinates

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Poirier, Colline; Vellema, Michiel; Verhoye, Marleen

    2008-01-01

    of different brain areas (nuclei) involved in the sensory and motor control of song. Until now, the only published atlases of songbird brains consisted in drawings based on histological slices of the canary and of the zebra finch brain. Taking advantage of high-magnetic field (7 Tesla) MRI technique, we...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Figueredo, Aurelio Jose; And Others

    1992-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  4. Comparisons of different methods to train a young zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) to learn a song.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Derégnaucourt, Sébastien; Poirier, Colline; Kant, Anne Van der; Linden, Annemie Van der; Gahr, Manfred

    2013-06-01

    Like humans, oscine songbirds exhibit vocal learning. They learn their song by imitating conspecifics, mainly adults. Among them, the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) has been widely used as a model species to study the behavioral, cellular and molecular substrates of vocal learning. Various methods using taped song playback have been used in the laboratory to train young male finches to learn a song. Since different protocols have been applied by different research groups, the efficiency of the studies cannot be directly compared. The purpose of our study was to address this problem. Young finches were raised by their mother alone from day post hatching (dph) 10 and singly isolated from dph 35. One week later, exposure to a song model began, either using a live tutor or taped playback (passive or self-elicited). At dph 100, the birds were transferred to a common aviary. We observed that one-to-one live tutoring is the best method to get a fairly complete imitation. Using self-elicited playback we observed high inter-individual variability; while some finches learned well (including good copying of the song model), others exhibited poor copying. Passive playback resulted in poor imitation of the model. We also observed that finches exhibited vocal changes after dph 100 and that the range of these changes was negatively related to their imitation of the song model. Taken together, these results suggest that social aspects are predominant in the success outcome of song learning in the zebra finch.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Ontogeny of adaptive antibody response to a model antigen in captive altricial zebra finches.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tess L Killpack

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merrill, Loren; Grindstaff, Jennifer L

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smiley, Kristina O; Adkins-Regan, Elizabeth

    2016-06-01

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

  9. Genomic and neural analysis of the estradiol-synthetic pathway in the zebra finch

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    London Sarah E

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Steroids are small molecule hormones derived from cholesterol. Steroids affect many tissues, including the brain. In the zebra finch, estrogenic steroids are particularly interesting because they masculinize the neural circuit that controls singing and their synthesis in the brain is modulated by experience. Here, we analyzed the zebra finch genome assembly to assess the content, conservation, and organization of genes that code for components of the estrogen-synthetic pathway and steroid nuclear receptors. Based on these analyses, we also investigated neural expression of a cholesterol transport protein gene in the context of song neurobiology. Results We present sequence-based analysis of twenty steroid-related genes using the genome assembly and other resources. Generally, zebra finch genes showed high homology to genes in other species. The diversity of steroidogenic enzymes and receptors may be lower in songbirds than in mammals; we were unable to identify all known mammalian isoforms of the 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase and 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase families in the zebra finch genome assembly, and not all splice sites described in mammals were identified in the corresponding zebra finch genes. We did identify two factors, Nobox and NR1H2-RXR, that may be important for coordinated transcription of multiple steroid-related genes. We found very little qualitative overlap in predicted transcription factor binding sites in the genes for two cholesterol transport proteins, the 18 kDa cholesterol transport protein (TSPO and steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR. We therefore performed in situ hybridization for TSPO and found that its mRNA was not always detected in brain regions where StAR and steroidogenic enzymes were previously shown to be expressed. Also, transcription of TSPO, but not StAR, may be regulated by the experience of hearing song. Conclusions The genes required for estradiol synthesis and

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waterman, Susanna A; Harding, Cheryl F

    2008-04-09

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

  12. Altered Auditory BOLD Response to Conspecific Birdsong in Zebra Finches with Stuttered Syllables

    OpenAIRE

    Voss, Henning U.; Delanthi Salgado-Commissariat; Helekar, Santosh A.

    2010-01-01

    How well a songbird learns a song appears to depend on the formation of a robust auditory template of its tutor's song. Using functional magnetic resonance neuroimaging we examine auditory responses in two groups of zebra finches that differ in the type of song they sing after being tutored by birds producing stuttering-like syllable repetitions in their songs. We find that birds that learn to produce the stuttered syntax show attenuated blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) responses to t...

  13. Acetylcholinesterase in central vocal control nuclei of the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata)

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Monika Sadananda

    2004-06-01

    The distribution of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) in the central vocal control nuclei of the zebra finch was studied using enzyme histochemistry. AChE fibres and cells are intensely labelled in the forebrain nucleus area X, strongly labelled in high vocal centre (HVC) perikarya, and moderately to lightly labelled in the somata and neuropil of vocal control nuclei robust nucleus of arcopallium (RA), medial magnocellular nucleus of the anterior nidopallium (MMAN) and lateral magnocellular nucleus of the anterior nidopallium (LMAN). The identified sites of cholinergic and/or cholinoceptive neurons are similar to the cholinergic presence in vocal control regions of other songbirds such as the song sparrow, starling and another genus of the zebra finch (Poephila guttata), and to a certain extent in parallel vocal control regions in vocalizing birds such as the budgerigar. AChE presence in the vocal control system suggests innervation by either afferent projecting cholinergic systems and/or local circuit cholinergic neurons. Co-occurrence with choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) indicates efferent cholinergic projections. The cholinergic presence in parts of the zebra finch vocal control system, such as the area X, that is also intricately wired with parts of the basal ganglia, the descending fibre tracts and brain stem nuclei could underlie this circuitry’s involvement in sensory processing and motor control of song.

  14. Castration modulates singing patterns and electrophysiological properties of RA projection neurons in adult male zebra finches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Songhua Wang

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Castration can change levels of plasma testosterone. Androgens such as testosterone play an important role in stabilizing birdsong. The robust nucleus of the arcopallium (RA is an important premotor nucleus critical for singing. In this study, we investigated the effect of castration on singing patterns and electrophysiological properties of projection neurons (PNs in the RA of adult male zebra finches. Adult male zebra finches were castrated and the changes in bird song assessed. We also recorded the electrophysiological changes from RA PNs using patch clamp recording. We found that the plasma levels of testosterone were significantly decreased, song syllable’s entropy was increased and the similarity of motif was decreased after castration. Spontaneous and evoked firing rates, membrane time constants, and membrane capacitance of RA PNs in the castration group were lower than those of the control and the sham groups. Afterhyperpolarization AHP time to peak of spontaneous action potential (AP was prolonged after castration.These findings suggest that castration decreases song stereotypy and excitability of RA PNs in male zebra finches.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  17. Subdivisions of the auditory midbrain (n. mesencephalicus lateralis, pars dorsalis in zebra finches using calcium-binding protein immunocytochemistry.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Priscilla Logerot

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

  18. C-fos induction in forebrain areas of two different visual pathways during consolidation of sexual imprinting in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sadananda, Monika; Bischof, Hans-Joachim

    2006-10-16

    Two forebrain areas in the hyperpallium apicale and in the lateral nidopallium of isolated male zebra finches are highly active (2-deoxyglucose technique) on exposure to females for the first time, that is first courtship. These areas also demonstrate enhanced neuronal plasticity when screened with c-fos immunocytochemistry. Both are areas involved in the processing of visual information conveyed by the two major visual pathways in birds, strengthening our hypothesis that courtship in the zebra finch is a visually guided behaviour. First courtship and chased birds show enhanced c-fos induction in the hyperpallial area, which could represent neuronal activity reflecting changes in the immediate environment. The enhanced expression of fos in first courtship birds in lateral nidopallial neurons indicates imminent long-lasting changes at the synaptic level that form the substrate for imprinting, a stable form of learning in birds.

  19. Metabolic and respiratory costs of increasing song amplitude in zebra finches.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sue Anne Zollinger

    Full Text Available Bird song is a widely used model in the study of animal communication and sexual selection, and several song features have been shown to reflect the quality of the singer. Recent studies have demonstrated that song amplitude may be an honest signal of current condition in males and that females prefer high amplitude songs. In addition, birds raise the amplitude of their songs to communicate in noisy environments. Although it is generally assumed that louder song should be more costly to produce, there has been little empirical evidence to support this assumption. We tested the assumption by measuring oxygen consumption and respiratory patterns in adult male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata singing at different amplitudes in different background noise conditions. As background noise levels increased, birds significantly increased the sound pressure level of their songs. We found that louder songs required significantly greater subsyringeal air sac pressure than quieter songs. Though increased pressure is probably achieved by increasing respiratory muscle activity, these increases did not correlate with measurable increases in oxygen consumption. In addition, we found that oxygen consumption increased in higher background noise, independent of singing behaviour. This observation supports previous research in mammals showing that high levels of environmental noise can induce physiological stress responses. While our study did not find that increasing vocal amplitude increased metabolic costs, further research is needed to determine whether there are other non-metabolic costs of singing louder or costs associated with chronic noise exposure.

  20. Gene duplication and fragmentation in the zebra finch major histocompatibility complex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Burt David W

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Due to its high polymorphism and importance for disease resistance, the major histocompatibility complex (MHC has been an important focus of many vertebrate genome projects. Avian MHC organization is of particular interest because the chicken Gallus gallus, the avian species with the best characterized MHC, possesses a highly streamlined minimal essential MHC, which is linked to resistance against specific pathogens. It remains unclear the extent to which this organization describes the situation in other birds and whether it represents a derived or ancestral condition. The sequencing of the zebra finch Taeniopygia guttata genome, in combination with targeted bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC sequencing, has allowed us to characterize an MHC from a highly divergent and diverse avian lineage, the passerines. Results The zebra finch MHC exhibits a complex structure and history involving gene duplication and fragmentation. The zebra finch MHC includes multiple Class I and Class II genes, some of which appear to be pseudogenes, and spans a much more extensive genomic region than the chicken MHC, as evidenced by the presence of MHC genes on each of seven BACs spanning 739 kb. Cytogenetic (FISH evidence and the genome assembly itself place core MHC genes on as many as four chromosomes with TAP and Class I genes mapping to different chromosomes. MHC Class II regions are further characterized by high endogenous retroviral content. Lastly, we find strong evidence of selection acting on sites within passerine MHC Class I and Class II genes. Conclusion The zebra finch MHC differs markedly from that of the chicken, the only other bird species with a complete genome sequence. The apparent lack of synteny between TAP and the expressed MHC Class I locus is in fact reminiscent of a pattern seen in some mammalian lineages and may represent convergent evolution. Our analyses of the zebra finch MHC suggest a complex history involving

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dubois, Frédérique; Belzile, Alexandra

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinzon-Rodriguez, Atticus; Muheim, Rachel

    2017-04-01

    Birds have a light-dependent magnetic compass that provides information about the spatial alignment of the geomagnetic field. It is proposed to be located in the avian retina and mediated by a light-induced, radical-pair mechanism involving cryptochromes as sensory receptor molecules. To investigate how the behavioural responses of birds under different light spectra match with cryptochromes as the primary magnetoreceptor, we examined the spectral properties of the magnetic compass in zebra finches. We trained birds to relocate a food reward in a spatial orientation task using magnetic compass cues. The birds were well oriented along the trained magnetic compass axis when trained and tested under low-irradiance 521 nm green light. In the presence of a 1.4 MHz radio-frequency electromagnetic (RF)-field, the birds were disoriented, which supports the involvement of radical-pair reactions in the primary magnetoreception process. Birds trained and tested under 638 nm red light showed a weak tendency to orient ∼45 deg clockwise of the trained magnetic direction. Under low-irradiance 460 nm blue light, they tended to orient along the trained magnetic compass axis, but were disoriented under higher irradiance light. Zebra finches trained and tested under high-irradiance 430 nm indigo light were well oriented along the trained magnetic compass axis, but disoriented in the presence of a RF-field. We conclude that magnetic compass responses of zebra finches are similar to those observed in nocturnally migrating birds and agree with cryptochromes as the primary magnetoreceptor, suggesting that light-dependent, radical-pair-mediated magnetoreception is a common property for all birds, including non-migratory species. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  4. Oscillating magnetic field disrupts magnetic orientation in Zebra finches, Taeniopygia guttata

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wiltschko Wolfgang

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Zebra finches can be trained to use the geomagnetic field as a directional cue for short distance orientation. The physical mechanisms underlying the primary processes of magnetoreception are, however, largely unknown. Two hypotheses of how birds perceive magnetic information are mainly discussed, one dealing with modulation of radical pair processes in retinal structures, the other assuming that iron deposits in the upper beak of the birds are involved. Oscillating magnetic fields in the MHz range disturb radical pair mechanisms but do not affect magnetic particles. Thus, application of such oscillating fields in behavioral experiments can be used as a diagnostic tool to decide between the two alternatives. Methods In a setup that eliminates all directional cues except the geomagnetic field zebra finches were trained to search for food in the magnetic north/south axis. The birds were then tested for orientation performance in two magnetic conditions. In condition 1 the horizontal component of the geomagnetic field was shifted by 90 degrees using a helmholtz coil. In condition 2 a high frequently oscillating field (1.156 MHz was applied in addition to the shifted field. Another group of birds was trained to solve the orientation task, but with visual landmarks as directional cue. The birds were then tested for their orientation performance in the same magnetic conditions as applied for the first experiment. Results The zebra finches could be trained successfully to orient in the geomagnetic field for food search in the north/south axis. They were also well oriented in test condition 1, with the magnetic field shifted horizontally by 90 degrees. In contrast, when the oscillating field was added, the directional choices during food search were randomly distributed. Birds that were trained to visually guided orientation showed no difference of orientation performance in the two magnetic conditions. Conclusion The results

  5. Molt-breeding overlap alters molt dynamics and behavior in zebra finches, Taeniopygia guttata castanotis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Echeverry-Galvis, Maria A; Hau, Michaela

    2012-06-01

    Costly events in the life history cycle of organisms such as reproduction, migration and pelage/plumage replacement are typically separated in time to maximize their outcome. Such temporal separation is thought to be necessitated by energetical trade-offs, and mediated through physiological processes. However, certain species, such as tropical birds, are able to overlap two costly life history stages: reproduction and feather replacement. It has remained unclear how both events progress when they co-occur over extended periods of time. Here we determined the consequences and potential costs of such overlap by comparing molt and behavioral patterns in both sexes of captive zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata castanotis) that were solely molting or were overlapping breeding and molt. Individuals overlapping the early stages of breeding with molt showed a roughly 40% decrease in the growth rate of individual feathers compared with birds that were molting but not breeding. Further, individuals that overlapped breeding and molt tended to molt fewer feathers simultaneously and exhibited longer intervals between shedding consecutive feathers on the tail or the same wing as well as delays in shedding corresponding flight feathers on opposite sides. Overlapping individuals also altered their time budgets: they devoted more than twice the time to feeding while halving the time spent for feather care in comparison to molt-only individuals. These data provide experimental support for the previously untested hypothesis that when molt and reproduction overlap in time, feather replacement will occur at a slower and less intense rate. There were no sex differences in any of the variables assessed, except for a tendency in females to decline body condition more strongly over time during the overlap than males. Our data indicate the existence of major consequences of overlapping breeding and molt, manifested in changes in both molt dynamics and time budgets of both sexes. It is

  6. Altered auditory BOLD response to conspecific birdsong in zebra finches with stuttered syllables.

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    Henning U Voss

    Full Text Available How well a songbird learns a song appears to depend on the formation of a robust auditory template of its tutor's song. Using functional magnetic resonance neuroimaging we examine auditory responses in two groups of zebra finches that differ in the type of song they sing after being tutored by birds producing stuttering-like syllable repetitions in their songs. We find that birds that learn to produce the stuttered syntax show attenuated blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD responses to tutor's song, and more pronounced responses to conspecific song primarily in the auditory area field L of the avian forebrain, when compared to birds that produce normal song. These findings are consistent with the presence of a sensory song template critical for song learning in auditory areas of the zebra finch forebrain. In addition, they suggest a relationship between an altered response related to familiarity and/or saliency of song stimuli and the production of variant songs with stuttered syllables.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spierings, Michelle J.; ten Cate, Carel

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Jiani; Ten Cate, Carel

    2015-08-01

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

  9. Transcriptional response to West Nile virus infection in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newhouse, Daniel J.; Hofmeister, Erik K.; Balakrishnan, Christopher N.

    2017-01-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) is a widespread arbovirus that imposes a significant cost to both human and wildlife health. WNV exists in a bird-mosquito transmission cycle in which passerine birds act as the primary reservoir host. As a public health concern, the mammalian immune response to WNV has been studied in detail. Little, however, is known about the avian immune response to WNV. Avian taxa show variable susceptibility to WNV and what drives this variation is unknown. Thus, to study the immune response to WNV in birds, we experimentally infected captive zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata). Zebra finches provide a useful model, as like many natural avian hosts they are moderately susceptible to WNV and thus provide sufficient viremia to infect mosquitoes. We performed RNAseq in spleen tissue during peak viremia to provide an overview of the transcriptional response. In general, we find strong parallels with the mammalian immune response to WNV, including upregulation of five genes in the Rig-I-like receptor signalling pathway, and offer insights into avian-specific responses. Together with complementary immunological assays, we provide a model of the avian immune response to WNV and set the stage for future comparative studies among variably susceptible populations and species.

  10. Juvenile zebra finches learn the underlying structural regularities of their fathers’ song

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Otilia eMenyhart

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Natural behaviors, such as foraging, tool use, social interaction, birdsong, and language, exhibit branching sequential structure. Such structure should be learnable if it can be inferred from the statistics of early experience. We report that juvenile zebra finches learn such sequential structure in song. Song learning in finches has been extensively studied, and it is generally believed that young males acquire song by imitating tutors (Zann, 1996. Variability in the order of elements in an individual’s mature song occurs, but the degree to which variation in a zebra finch’s song follows statistical regularities has not been quantified, as it has typically been dismissed as production error (Sturdy et al., 1999. Allowing for the possibility that such variation in song is non-random and learnable, we applied a novel analytical approach, based on graph-structured finite-state grammars, to each individual’s full corpus of renditions of songs. This method does not assume syllable-level correspondence between individuals. We find that song variation can be described by probabilistic finite-state graph grammars that are individually distinct, and that the graphs of juveniles are more similar to those of their fathers than to those of other adult males. This grammatical learning is a new parallel between birdsong and language. Our method can be applied across species and contexts to analyze complex variable learned behaviors, as distinct as foraging, tool use, and language.

  11. Brain activation pattern depends on the strategy chosen by zebra finches to solve an orientation task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayer, Uwe; Bischof, Hans-Joachim

    2012-02-01

    Zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) were trained to find food in one of four feeders on the floor of an aviary. This feeder was always in the same place during training and was additionally marked by a distinct pattern. In the test trial the distinctly patterned feeder was interchanged with one of the other feeders, so that the birds had to decide to use either the pattern or the original location for finding food. Half of the birds used one strategy and half used the other. According to the strategy applied, different brain areas were activated, as demonstrated by c-Fos immunohistochemistry. The hippocampus was activated when spatial cues were used, while in birds orienting using the pattern of the feeder, part of the collothalamic (tectofugal) visual system showed stronger activation. The visual wulst of the lemnothalamic (thalamofugal) visual system was activated with both strategies, indicating an involvement in both spatial and pattern-directed orientation. Because the experimental situation was the same for all zebra finches, the activation pattern was only dependent on the strategy that was voluntarily chosen by each of the birds.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spierings, Michelle J; Ten Cate, Carel

    2016-07-05

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    During, D. N.; Ziegler, A.; Thompson, C. K.;

    2013-01-01

    and micro-computed tomography) and invasive techniques (histology and micro-dissection) to construct the annotated high-resolution three-dimensional dataset, or morphome, of the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) syrinx. We identified and annotated syringeal cartilage, bone and musculature in situ...

  14. A dynamic, sex-specific expression pattern of genes regulating thyroid hormone action in the developing zebra finch song control system

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Raymaekers, Sander R; Verbeure, Wout; Ter Haar, Sita M; Cornil, Charlotte A; Balthazart, Jacques; Darras, Veerle M

    2017-01-01

    The zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) song control system consists of several series of interconnected brain nuclei that undergo marked changes during ontogeny and sexual development, making it an excellent model to study developmental neuroplasticity. Despite the demonstrated influence of hormones

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmadiantehrani, Somayeh; London, Sarah E.

    2017-01-01

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

  16. Form of Dietary Methylmercury does not Affect Total Mercury Accumulation in the Tissues of Zebra Finch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varian-Ramos, Claire W; Whitney, Margaret; Rice, Gary W; Cristol, Daniel A

    2017-07-01

    Exposure to mercury in humans, other mammals, and birds is primarily dietary, with mercury in the methylated form and bound to cysteine in the tissues of prey items. Yet dosing studies are generally carried out using methylmercury chloride. Here we tested whether the accumulation of total mercury in zebra finch blood, egg, muscle, liver, kidney or brain differed depending on whether dietary mercury was complexed with chloride or cysteine. We found no effect of form of mercury on tissue accumulation. Some previous studies have found lower accumulation of mercury in tissues of animals fed complexed mercury. Much remains to be understood about what happens to ingested mercury once it enters the intestines, but our results suggest that dietary studies using methylmercury chloride in birds will produce similar tissue accumulation levels to those using methylmercury cysteine.

  17. First Report of Coccidiosis and Gizzard Erosion in a Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata of Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moini, M.

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Coccidiosis and gizzard erosion are rare conditions in cage bird. A male zebra finch was presented with a history of watery diarrhea, anorexia, ruffled feathers, weight loss, and lethargy and died finally. Gross necropsy revealed small areas of erosions and hemorrhages on the gizzard wall. The intestine was oedematous. The spleen appeared pale and small. The testes were asymmetric.Histologically, necrosis of mucosal layer with infiltration of inflammatory cells observed in cecum. Eimeria stages were detected in the enterocytes. In Gizzard, hemorrhage and ulceration of mucosal layer with infiltration of polymorphonuclear cells in to the underlying mucosa were seen. In hepatic tissue, mild focal necrosis with mononuclear cells infiltration was seen. The disease was diagnosed as coccidiosis and gizzard erosion.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susanne Seltmann

    2016-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Myosin heavy-chain isoforms in the flight and leg muscles of hummingbirds and zebra finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Velten, Brandy P; Welch, Kenneth C

    2014-06-01

    Myosin heavy chain (MHC) isoform complement is intimately related to a muscle's contractile properties, yet relatively little is known about avian MHC isoforms or how they may vary with fiber type and/or the contractile properties of a muscle. The rapid shortening of muscles necessary to power flight at the high wingbeat frequencies of ruby-throated hummingbirds and zebra finches (25-60 Hz), along with the varied morphology and use of the hummingbird hindlimb, provides a unique opportunity to understand how contractile and morphological properties of avian muscle may be reflected in MHC expression. Isoforms of the hummingbird and zebra finch flight and hindlimb muscles were electrophoretically separated and compared with those of other avian species representing different contractile properties and fiber types. The flight muscles of the study species operate at drastically different contraction rates and are composed of different histochemically defined fiber types, yet each exhibited the same, single MHC isoform corresponding to the chicken adult fast isoform. Thus, despite quantitative differences in the contractile demands of flight muscles across species, this isoform appears necessary for meeting the performance demands of avian powered flight. Variation in flight muscle contractile performance across species may be due to differences in the structural composition of this conserved isoform and/or variation within other mechanically linked proteins. The leg muscles were more varied in their MHC isoform composition across both muscles and species. The disparity in hindlimb MHC expression between hummingbirds and the other species highlights previously observed differences in fiber type composition and thrust production during take-off. Copyright © 2014 the American Physiological Society.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  2. Physiological and behavioral responses to an acute-phase response in zebra finches: immediate and short-term effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sköld-Chiriac, Sandra; Nord, Andreas; Nilsson, Jan-Åke; Hasselquist, Dennis

    2014-01-01

    Activation of the immune system to clear pathogens and mitigate infection is a costly process that might incur fitness costs. When vertebrates are exposed to pathogens, their first line of defense is the acute-phase response (APR), which consists of a suite of physiological and behavioral changes. The dynamics of the APR are relatively well investigated in mammals and domesticated birds but still rather unexplored in passerine birds. In this study, we injected male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) with a bacterial endotoxin (lipopolysaccharide [LPS]) to assess the potential physiological, immunological, and behavioral responses during the time course of an APR and also to record any potential short-term effects by measuring the birds during the days after the expected APR. We found that LPS-injected zebra finches decreased activity and gained less body mass during the APR, compared to control individuals. In addition, LPS-injected birds increased their production of LPS-reactive antibodies and reduced their metabolic rate during the days after the expected APR. Our results show that zebra finches demonstrate sickness behaviors during an APR but also that physiological effects persist after the expected time course of an APR. These delayed effects might be either a natural part of the progression of an APR, which is probably true for the antibody response, or a short-term carryover effect, which is probably true for the metabolic response.

  3. Increased fat catabolism sustains water balance during fasting in zebra finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rutkowska, Joanna; Sadowska, Edyta T; Cichoń, Mariusz; Bauchinger, Ulf

    2016-09-01

    Patterns of physiological flexibility in response to fasting are well established, but much less is known about the contribution of water deprivation to the observed effects. We investigated body composition and energy and water budget in three groups of zebra finches: birds with access to food and water, food-deprived birds having access to drinking water and food-and-water-deprived birds. Animals were not stimulated by elevated energy expenditure and they were in thermoneutral conditions; thus, based on previous studies, water balance of fasting birds was expected to be maintained by increased catabolism of proteins. In contrast to this expectation, we found that access to water did not prevent reduction of proteinaceous tissue, but it saved fat reserves of the fasting birds. Thus, water balance of birds fasting without access to water seemed to be maintained by elevated fat catabolism, which generated 6 times more metabolic water compared with that in birds that had access to water. Therefore, we revise currently established views and propose fat to serve as the primary source for metabolic water production. Previously assumed increased protein breakdown for maintenance of water budget would occur if fat stores were depleted or if fat catabolism reached its upper limits due to high energy demands. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, H

    2001-10-01

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

  5. Inbreeding depression of sperm traits in the zebra finch Taeniopygia guttata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Opatová, Pavlína; Ihle, Malika; Albrechtová, Jana; Tomášek, Oldřich; Kempenaers, Bart; Forstmeier, Wolfgang; Albrecht, Tomáš

    2016-01-01

    Inbreeding depression, or the reduction in fitness due to mating between close relatives, is a key issue in biology today. Inbreeding negatively affects many fitness-related traits, including survival and reproductive success. Despite this, very few studies have quantified the effects of inbreeding on vertebrate gamete traits under controlled breeding conditions using a full-sib mating approach. Here, we provide comprehensive evidence for the negative effect of inbreeding on sperm traits in a bird, the zebra finch Taeniopygia guttata. We compared sperm characteristics of both inbred (pedigree F = 0.25) and outbred (pedigree F = 0) individuals from two captive populations, one domesticated and one recently wild-derived, raised under standardized conditions. As normal spermatozoa morphology did not differ consistently between inbred and outbred individuals, our study confirms the hypothesis that sperm morphology is not particularly susceptible to inbreeding depression. Inbreeding did, however, lead to significantly lower sperm motility and a substantially higher percentage of abnormal spermatozoa in ejaculate. These results were consistent across both study populations, confirming the generality and reliability of our findings.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-08-17

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

  7. Divorce in the socially monogamous zebra finch: Hormonal mechanisms and reproductive consequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crino, Ondi L; Buchanan, Katherine L; Fanson, Benjamin G; Hurley, Laura L; Smiley, Kristina O; Griffith, Simon C

    2017-01-01

    Up to 80% of all bird species are socially monogamous. Divorce (switching partners) or pair disruption (due to the death of a partner) has been associated with decreased reproductive success, suggesting social monogamy is a strategy that may maximize fitness via coordination between partners. Previous studies have demonstrated the effects of divorce and pair disruption on immediate reproductive success. Here, we used a paired experimental design in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) to examine the hormonal mechanisms that modulate parental behavior and reproductive success in response to a partnership change (hereafter divorce). Specifically, we examined the effects of divorce on the avian stress hormone corticosterone (CORT) in both parents and nestlings, parental behaviors (incubation and nestling provisioning), prolactin (PRL), and reproductive success. We found that divorce resulted in delayed clutch initiation, reduced clutch mass, and an increase in nestling CORT response to a standardized stressor. These effects on reproductive investment and chick CORT response were not clearly determined by parental endocrine responses. Divorce had no effect on the level of parental CORT. PRL levels were highly correlated within a pair regardless of treatment, were negatively related to the investment that males made in incubation, and increased in experimental males as a result of pair disruption. This study demonstrates the fundamental impact which divorce has not only on reproduction, but also the physiological stress responses of offspring and suggests that in socially monogamous animals the maintenance of a stable partnership over time could be advantageous for long term fitness.

  8. Timing of ossification in duck, quail, and zebra finch: intraspecific variation, heterochronies, and life history evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-07-01

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

  9. Carotenoid accumulation in the tissues of zebra finches: predictors of integumentary pigmentation and implications for carotenoid allocation strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGraw, Kevin J; Toomey, Matthew B

    2010-01-01

    Carotenoid pigments produce the bright yellow to red ornamental colors of many animals, especially birds, and must ultimately be derived from the diet. However, they are also valuable for many physiological functions (e.g., antioxidants, immunostimulants, photoprotection, visual tuning, yolk nourishment to embryos), and as a result they are present in numerous internal body tissues (e.g., liver, adipose tissue, retina) whose carotenoid types and amounts are rarely studied in the context of color acquisition. Because male and female animals typically place different priorities on fitness-enhancing activities (e.g., gametic investment in females, sexual attraction in males), carotenoid allocation may track such investment patterns in the two sexes, and we can test for such sex-specific priorities of carotenoids by assessing body-tissue distributions of these pigments. We used high-performance liquid chromatography to identify and quantify carotenoid pigments from the plasma, liver, adipose tissue, and retina as well as the beak and legs of male and female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata), a species in which males display sexually attractive, red, carotenoid-based beak coloration and females also display some (albeit a less rich orange) beak color. To our knowledge, this is the first study of the predictors of carotenoid-based leg coloration-another potentially important visual signal-in this species. The same suite of dietary (e.g., lutein, zeaxanthin, beta-cryptoxanthin) and metabolically derived (e.g., dehydrolutein, anhydrolutein) yellow and orange carotenoids was present in plasma, liver, and adipose tissue of both sexes. Retina contained two different metabolites (astaxanthin and galloxanthin) that serve specific functions in association with unique photoreceptor types in the eye. Beaks were enriched with four red ketocarotenoid derivatives in both sexes (alpha-doradexanthin, adonirubin, astaxanthin, and canthaxanthin), while the carotenoid profile of legs

  10. Implications of nutritional stress as nestling or fledgling on subsequent attractiveness and fecundity in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata

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    Mariam Honarmand

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available The conditions an organism experiences during early development can have profound and long lasting effects on its subsequent behavior, attractiveness, and life history decisions. Most previous studies have exposed individuals to different conditions throughout development until nutritional independence. Yet under natural conditions, individuals may experience limitations for much shorter periods due to transient environmental fluctuations. Here, we used zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata in captivity to determine if conditions experienced during distinctly different early developmental phases contribute differently to male and female attractiveness and subsequent reproduction. We conducted a breeding experiment in which offspring were exposed to food regimes with (a low quality food provided only during the nestling period, (b low quality food provided only during the fledgling period, or (c high quality food throughout early development. We show that despite short-term effects on biometry and physiology, there were no effects on either male or female attractiveness, as tested in two-way mate choice free-flight aviary experiments. In a subsequent breeding experiment, the offspring from the initial experiment were allowed to breed themselves. The next generation offspring from mothers raised under lower quality nutrition as either nestling or fledging were lighter at hatching compared to offspring from mothers raised under higher quality nutrition whereas paternal early nutrition had no such effects. The lack of early developmental limitations on attractiveness suggests that attractiveness traits were not affected or that birds compensated for any such effects. Furthermore, maternal trans-generational effects of dietary restrictions emphasize the importance of role of limited periods of early developmental stress in the expression of environmentally determined fitness components.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-10-01

    Mitochondria have a fundamental role in the transduction of energy from food into ATP. The coupling between food oxidation and ATP production is never perfect, but may nevertheless be of evolutionary significance. The 'uncoupling to survive' hypothesis suggests that 'mild' mitochondrial uncoupling evolved as a protective mechanism against the excessive production of damaging reactive oxygen species (ROS). Because resource allocation and ROS production are thought to shape animal life histories, alternative life-history trajectories might be driven by individual variation in the degree of mitochondrial uncoupling. We tested this hypothesis in a small bird species, the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata), by treating adults with the artificial mitochondrial uncoupler 2,4-dinitrophenol (DNP) over a 32-month period. In agreement with our expectations, the uncoupling treatment increased metabolic rate. However, we found no evidence that treated birds enjoyed lower oxidative stress levels or greater survival rates, in contrast to previous results in other taxa. In vitro experiments revealed lower sensitivity of ROS production to DNP in mitochondria isolated from skeletal muscles of zebra finch than mouse. In addition, we found significant reductions in the number of eggs laid and in the inflammatory immune response in treated birds. Altogether, our data suggest that the 'uncoupling to survive' hypothesis may not be applicable for zebra finches, presumably because of lower effects of mitochondrial uncoupling on mitochondrial ROS production in birds than in mammals. Nevertheless, mitochondrial uncoupling appeared to be a potential life-history regulator of traits such as fecundity and immunity at adulthood, even with food supplied ad libitum. © 2014. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  12. CNTNAP2 is a direct FoxP2 target in vitro and in vivo in zebra finches

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Adam, I.; Mendoza, E.; Kobalz, U.

    2017-01-01

    Mutations of FOXP2 are associated with altered brain structure, including the striatal part of the basal ganglia, and cause a severe speech and language disorder. Songbirds serve as a tractable neurobiological model for speech and language research. Experimental downregulation of FoxP2 in zebra...... finch AreaX, a nucleus of the striatal song control circuitry, affects synaptic transmission and spine densities. It also renders song learning and production inaccurate and imprecise, similar to the speech impairment of patients carrying FOXP2 mutations. Here we show that experimental downregulation...

  13. Transcriptional response to West Nile virus infection in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata), a songbird model for immune function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofmeister, Erik K.; Newhouse, Daniel J.; Balakrishnan, Christopher N.

    2017-01-01

    The data set contains paired-end, 100 nucleotide long RNA sequencing reads for each sample. Raw sequencing reads ranged from 18-30million reads per sample. Quality trimmed reads were mapped to the Zebra Finch reference genome with an average of 79.0-80.8% mapping rate, corresponding to 18,618 Ensembl gene IDs. Of these, 14,114 genes averaged at least 5 mapped reads across all samples and were utilized for differential expression (DE) analyses. DE analyzed two ways: as pairwise comparisons between treatments to identify specific genes with DEseq2 and as a time course grouping genes into expression paths with EBSeqHMM.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  15. De novo establishment of wild-type song culture in the zebra finch.

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    Fehér, Olga; Wang, Haibin; Saar, Sigal; Mitra, Partha P; Tchernichovski, Ofer

    2009-05-28

    Culture is typically viewed as consisting of traits inherited epigenetically, through social learning. However, cultural diversity has species-typical constraints, presumably of genetic origin. A celebrated, if contentious, example is whether a universal grammar constrains syntactic diversity in human languages. Oscine songbirds exhibit song learning and provide biologically tractable models of culture: members of a species show individual variation in song and geographically separated groups have local song dialects. Different species exhibit distinct song cultures, suggestive of genetic constraints. Without such constraints, innovations and copying errors should cause unbounded variation over multiple generations or geographical distance, contrary to observations. Here we report an experiment designed to determine whether wild-type song culture might emerge over multiple generations in an isolated colony founded by isolates, and, if so, how this might happen and what type of social environment is required. Zebra finch isolates, unexposed to singing males during development, produce song with characteristics that differ from the wild-type song found in laboratory or natural colonies. In tutoring lineages starting from isolate founders, we quantified alterations in song across tutoring generations in two social environments: tutor-pupil pairs in sound-isolated chambers and an isolated semi-natural colony. In both settings, juveniles imitated the isolate tutors but changed certain characteristics of the songs. These alterations accumulated over learning generations. Consequently, songs evolved towards the wild-type in three to four generations. Thus, species-typical song culture can appear de novo. Our study has parallels with language change and evolution. In analogy to models in quantitative genetics, we model song culture as a multigenerational phenotype partly encoded genetically in an isolate founding population, influenced by environmental variables and taking

  16. Optical imaging of retinotopic maps in a small songbird, the zebra finch.

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    Nina Keary

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The primary visual cortex of mammals is characterised by a retinotopic representation of the visual field. It has therefore been speculated that the visual wulst, the avian homologue of the visual cortex, also contains such a retinotopic map. We examined this for the first time by optical imaging of intrinsic signals in zebra finches, a small songbird with laterally placed eyes. In addition to the visual wulst, we visualised the retinotopic map of the optic tectum which is homologue to the superior colliculus in mammals. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: For the optic tectum, our results confirmed previous accounts of topography based on anatomical studies and conventional electrophysiology. Within the visual wulst, the retinotopy revealed by our experiments has not been illustrated convincingly before. The frontal part of the visual field (0 degrees +/-30 degrees azimuth was not represented in the retinotopic map. The visual field from 30 degrees -60 degrees azimuth showed stronger magnification compared with more lateral regions. Only stimuli within elevations between about 20 degrees and 40 degrees above the horizon elicited neuronal activation. Activation from other elevations was masked by activation of the preferred region. Most interestingly, we observed more than one retinotopic representation of visual space within the visual wulst, which indicates that the avian wulst, like the visual cortex in mammals, may show some compartmentation parallel to the surface in addition to its layered structure. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results show the applicability of the optical imaging method also for small songbirds. We obtained a more detailed picture of retinotopic maps in birds, especially on the functional neuronal organisation of the visual wulst. Our findings support the notion of homology of visual wulst and visual cortex by showing that there is a functional correspondence between the two areas but also raise questions based

  17. Learning-related neuronal activation in the zebra finch song system nucleus HVC in response to the bird's own song.

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    Johan J Bolhuis

    Full Text Available Like many other songbird species, male zebra finches learn their song from a tutor early in life. Song learning in birds has strong parallels with speech acquisition in human infants at both the behavioral and neural levels. Forebrain nuclei in the 'song system' are important for the sensorimotor acquisition and production of song, while caudomedial pallial brain regions outside the song system are thought to contain the neural substrate of tutor song memory. Here, we exposed three groups of adult zebra finch males to either tutor song, to their own song, or to novel conspecific song. Expression of the immediate early gene protein product Zenk was measured in the song system nuclei HVC, robust nucleus of the arcopallium (RA and Area X. There were no significant differences in overall Zenk expression between the three groups. However, Zenk expression in the HVC was significantly positively correlated with the strength of song learning only in the group that was exposed to the bird's own song, not in the other two groups. These results suggest that the song system nucleus HVC may contain a neural representation of a memory of the bird's own song. Such a representation may be formed during juvenile song learning and guide the bird's vocal output.

  18. Smooth operator: avoidance of subharmonic bifurcations through mechanical mechanisms simplifies song motor control in adult zebra finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-10-06

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

  19. Association mapping of morphological traits in wild and captive zebra finches: reliable within, but not between populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knief, Ulrich; Schielzeth, Holger; Backström, Niclas; Hemmrich-Stanisak, Georg; Wittig, Michael; Franke, Andre; Griffith, Simon C; Ellegren, Hans; Kempenaers, Bart; Forstmeier, Wolfgang

    2017-03-01

    Identifying causal genetic variants underlying heritable phenotypic variation is a long-standing goal in evolutionary genetics. We previously identified several quantitative trait loci (QTL) for five morphological traits in a captive population of zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) by whole-genome linkage mapping. We here follow up on these studies with the aim to narrow down on the quantitative trait variants (QTN) in one wild and three captive populations. First, we performed an association study using 672 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within candidate genes located in the previously identified QTL regions in a sample of 939 wild-caught zebra finches. Then, we validated the most promising SNP-phenotype associations (n = 25 SNPs) in 5228 birds from four populations. Genotype-phenotype associations were generally weak in the wild population, where linkage disequilibrium (LD) spans only short genomic distances. In contrast, in captive populations, where LD blocks are large, apparent SNP effects on morphological traits (i.e. associations) were highly repeatable with independent data from the same population. Most of those SNPs also showed significant associations with the same trait in other captive populations, but the direction and magnitude of these effects varied among populations. This suggests that the tested SNPs are not the causal QTN but rather physically linked to them, and that LD between SNPs and causal variants differs between populations due to founder effects. While the identification of QTN remains challenging in nonmodel organisms, we illustrate that it is indeed possible to confirm the location and magnitude of QTL in a population with stable linkage between markers and causal variants. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neethu Michael

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

  1. The ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata): Afferent and efferent projections in relation to the control of reproductive behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wild, J Martin

    2017-08-15

    Sex-specific mating behaviors occur in a variety of mammals, with the medial preoptic nucleus (POM) and the ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus (VMH) mediating control of male and female sexual behavior, respectively. In birds, likewise, POM is predominantly involved in the control of male reproductive behavior, but the degree to which VMH is involved in female reproductive behavior is unclear. Here, in male and female zebra finches, a combination of aromatase immunohistochemistry and conventional tract tracing facilitated the definition of two separate but adjacent nuclei in the basal hypothalamus: an oblique band of aromatase-positive (AR+) neurons, and ventromedial to this, an ovoid, aromatase-negative (AR-) nucleus. The AR- nucleus, but not the AR+ nucleus, was here shown to receive a projection from rostral parts of the thalamic auditory nucleus ovoidalis and from the nucleus of the tractus ovoidalis. The AR- nucleus also receives an overlapping, major projection from previously uncharted regions of the medial arcopallium and a minor projection from the caudomedial nidopallium. Both the AR- and the AR+ nuclei project to the intercollicular nucleus of the midbrain. No obvious sex differences in either the pattern of AR immunoreactivity or of the afferent projections to the AR- nucleus were observed. The significance of these results in terms of the acoustic control of avian reproductive behavior is discussed, and a comparison with the organization of VMH afferents in lizards suggests a homologous similarity of the caudal telencephalon in sauropsids. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-01

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

  3. A Social Relations Model for the Colonial Behavior of the Zebra Finch

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    Aurelio José Figueredo

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available A social relations model was developed for 5 years of behavioral recordings from a captive colony of Zebrafinches (Taeniopygia guttata. A quantitative ethogram was applied, using one-zero focal animal sampling on an ethologically comprehensive checklist of 52 behavioral items (Figueredo, Petrinovich, & Ross, 1992. Of the 9 ethological factors previously identified, only 4 of the 6 social factors (Social Proximity, Social Contact, Social Submission, and Social Aggression were used. Major results were as follows: (1 Individual finches showed systematically different response dispositions that were stable over a 5-year period as both subjects and objects of behavior; (2 Interactions between finches differed systematically by the sexes of both the subjects and the objects of behavior; (3 Behavioral interactions between finches and their mates differed systematically according to the subjects' sex, but also differed systematically from those with other members of the objects' sex; (4 Behavioral interactions between finches and their relatives differed systematically between different discrete categories of relatives, but did not vary as a systematic function of either graded genetic relatedness or familiarity due to common rearing; and (5 Behavioral interactions between finches and their relatives showed an overall bias towards preferential interactions with male relatives. DOI: 10.2458/azu_jmmss.v1i1.77

  4. Sexual imprinting leads to lateralized and non-lateralized expression of the immediate early gene zenk in the zebra finch brain.

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    Lieshoff, Carsten; Grosse-Ophoff, Jürgen; Bischof, Hans-Joachim

    2004-01-05

    Sexual imprinting is an early learning process by which young birds acquire the features of a potential sexual partner. The physiological basis of this learning process is an irreversible reduction of spine densities in two forebrain areas, the lateral neo- and hyperstriatum (LNH) and the medial neo- and hyperstriatum (MNH). The aim of the present study was to investigate whether the immediate early gene zenk, which has been shown frequently to play a role in plastic processes in the song system of zebra finches, may also be involved in the structural changes observed in these areas. The first exposure to a female after an isolation period enhances zenk expression in a variety of brain areas including LNH, MNH, and optic tectum. In contrast to earlier results, it was only the neostriatal part of LNH which showed an enhancement on first courtship, while exposure to a nestbox enhanced the label within the entire LNH area. Unexpectedly, the IEG expression was clearly lateralized in some layers of the optic tectum. Because lateralization occurred independent of the experimental condition, our study adds to recent results which also support the idea of a lateralized organization of the avian visual system.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

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

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

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    Hans-Joachim Bischof

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

  8. Encoding of naturalistic optic flow by motion sensitive neurons of nucleus rotundus in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata.

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    Dennis eEckmeier

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available The retinal image changes that occur during locomotion, the optic flow, carry information about self-motion and the three-dimensional structure of the environment. Especially fast moving animals with only little binocular vision depend on these depth cues for manoeuvring. They actively control their gaze to facilitate perception of depth based on cues in the optic flow. In the visual system of birds, nucleus rotundus neurons were originally found to respond to object motion but not to background motion. However, when background and object were both moving, responses increase the more the direction and velocity of object and background motion on the retina differed. These properties may play a role in representing depth cues in the optic flow. We therefore investigated how neurons in nucleus rotundus respond to optic flow that contains depth cues. We presented simplified and naturalistic optic flow on a panoramic LED display while recording from single neurons in nucleus rotundus of anaesthetized zebra finches. Unlike most studies on motion vision in birds, our stimuli included depth information.We found extensive responses of motion selective neurons in nucleus rotundus to optic flow stimuli. Simplified stimuli revealed preferences for optic flow reflecting translational or rotational self-motion. Naturalistic optic flow stimuli elicited complex response modulations, but the presence of objects was signalled by only few neurons. The neurons that did respond to objects in the optic flow, however, show interesting properties.

  9. An examination of the effect of aerosolized permanone insecticide on zebra finch susceptibility to West Nile virus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jankowski, Mark D.; Murray, E. Moore; Hofmeister, Erik K.

    2017-01-01

    West Nile virus is primarily maintained cryptically primarily in avian (Passerine) populations where it is transmitted by Culex spp. mosquitoes. Mosquito control measures currently include physical activities to reduce mosquito breeding sites, the application of mosquito larvicides, or aerosolized insecticides to kill adults (adulticides) when arboviral diseases such as West Nile virus (WNV) or Zika virus are detected in mosquito populations. Organochlorine, organohosphorus, carbamate and pyrethroid insecticides are often used. Previous work suggests an effect of pyrethroids on the immune system in a variety of vertebrates. We examined the effects of exposure to aerosolized Permanone® 30:30 insecticide (permethrin and piperonyl butoxide in soy oil vehicle) at ∼103−106x potential environmental concentrations on the response of captive zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) to experimental challenge with WNV. Compared to vehicle control birds, WNV outcome was unchanged (65% of birds produced a viremia) in the ‘low’ exposure (9.52 mg/m3±3.13 SD permethrin) group, but reduced in the ‘high’ exposure (mean 376.5 mg/m3±27.9 SD permethrin) group (30% were viremic) (p < 0.05). After clearing WNV infection, birds treated with Permanone regained less body mass than vehicle treated birds (p < 0.001). Our study suggests that exposure to aerosolized Permanone insecticide at levels exceeding typical application rates has the potential to not change or mildly enhance a bird's resistance to WNV.

  10. Circulating breeding and pre-breeding prolactin and LH are not associated with clutch size in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryan, Calen P; Dawson, Alistair; Sharp, Peter J; Meddle, Simone L; Williams, Tony D

    2014-06-01

    Clutch size is a fundamental predictor of avian fitness, widely-studied from evolutionary and ecological perspectives, but surprisingly little is known about the physiological mechanisms regulating clutch size variation. The only formal mechanistic hypothesis for avian clutch-size determination predicts an anti-gonadal effect of circulating prolactin (PRL) via the inhibition of luteinizing hormone (LH), and has become widely-accepted despite little experimental support. Here we investigated the relationship between pre-breeding and breeding plasma PRL and LH and clutch-size in captive-breeding female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata). Using a repeated-measures design, we followed individual females from pre-breeding, through multiple breeding attempts, and attempted to decrease PRL using the D2-receptor agonist, bromocriptine. Clutch size was independent of variation in pre-breeding PRL or LH, although pre-breeding LH was negatively correlated with the time between pairing and the onset of laying. Clutch size was independent of variation in plasma PRL on all days of egg-laying. Bromocriptine treatment had no effect on plasma PRL, but in this breeding attempt clutch size was also independent of plasma PRL. Finally, we found no evidence for an inverse relationship between plasma PRL and LH levels, as predicted if PRL had inhibitory effects via LH. Thus, our data fail to provide any support for the involvement of circulating PRL in clutch size determination. These findings suggest that alternative models for hormonal control of avian clutch size need to be considered, perhaps involving downstream regulation of plasma PRL at the level of the ovary, or other hormones that have not been considered to date.

  11. Protein-Protein Interaction Among the FoxP Family Members and their Regulation of Two Target Genes, VLDLR and CNTNAP2 in the Zebra Finch Song System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendoza, Ezequiel; Scharff, Constance

    2017-01-01

    The Forkhead transcription factor FOXP2 is implicated in speech perception and production. The avian homolog, FoxP2 contributes to song learning and production in birds. In human cell lines, transcriptional activity of FOXP2 requires homo-dimerization or dimerization with paralogs FOXP1 or FOXP4. Whether FoxP dimerization occurs in the brain is unknown. We recently showed that FoxP1, FoxP2 and FoxP4 (FoxP1/2/4) proteins are co-expressed in neurons of Area X, a song control region in zebra finches. We now report on dimer- and oligomerization of zebra finch FoxPs and how this affects transcription. In cell lines and in the brain we identify homo- and hetero-dimers, and an oligomer composed of FoxP1/2/4. We further show that FoxP1/2 but not FoxP4 bind to the regulatory region of the target gene Contactin-associated protein-like 2 (CNTNAP2). In addition, we demonstrate that FoxP1/4 bind to the regulatory region of very low density lipoprotein receptor (VLDLR), as has been shown for FoxP2 previously. Interestingly, FoxP1/2/4 individually or in combinations regulate the promoters for SV40, zebra finch VLDLR and CNTNAP2 differentially. These data exemplify the potential for complex transcriptional regulation of FoxP1/2/4, highlighting the need for future functional studies dissecting their differential regulation in the brain.

  12. Protein-Protein Interaction Among the FoxP Family Members and their Regulation of Two Target Genes, VLDLR and CNTNAP2 in the Zebra Finch Song System

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    Ezequiel Mendoza

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available The Forkhead transcription factor FOXP2 is implicated in speech perception and production. The avian homolog, FoxP21 contributes to song learning and production in birds. In human cell lines, transcriptional activity of FOXP2 requires homo-dimerization or dimerization with paralogs FOXP1 or FOXP4. Whether FoxP dimerization occurs in the brain is unknown. We recently showed that FoxP1, FoxP2 and FoxP4 (FoxP1/2/4 proteins are co-expressed in neurons of Area X, a song control region in zebra finches. We now report on dimer- and oligomerization of zebra finch FoxPs and how this affects transcription. In cell lines and in the brain we identify homo- and hetero-dimers, and an oligomer composed of FoxP1/2/4. We further show that FoxP1/2 but not FoxP4 bind to the regulatory region of the target gene Contactin-associated protein-like 2 (CNTNAP2. In addition, we demonstrate that FoxP1/4 bind to the regulatory region of very low density lipoprotein receptor (VLDLR, as has been shown for FoxP2 previously. Interestingly, FoxP1/2/4 individually or in combinations regulate the promoters for SV40, zebra finch VLDLR and CNTNAP2 differentially. These data exemplify the potential for complex transcriptional regulation of FoxP1/2/4, highlighting the need for future functional studies dissecting their differential regulation in the brain.

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

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

    2015-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keary, Nina; Bischof, Hans-Joachim

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

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    Düring Daniel N

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nina Keary

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-02-01

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

  19. Distribution of aromatase-immunoreactive cells in the forebrain of zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata): implications for the neural action of steroids and nuclear definition in the avian hypothalamus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balthazart, J; Absil, P; Foidart, A; Houbart, M; Harada, N; Ball, G F

    1996-10-01

    Cells immunoreactive for the enzyme aromatase were localized in the forebrain of male zebra finches with the use of an immunocytochemistry procedure. Two polyclonal antibodies, one directed against human placental aromatase and the other directed against quail recombinant aromatase, revealed a heterogeneous distribution of the enzyme in the telencephalon, diencephalon, and mesencephalon. Staining was enhanced in some birds by the administration of the nonsteroidal aromatase inhibitor, R76713 racemic Vorozole) prior to the perfusion of the birds as previously described in Japanese quail. Large numbers of cells immunoreactive for aromatase were found in nuclei in the preoptic region and in the tuberal hypothalamus. A nucleus was identified in the preoptic region based on the high density of aromatase immunoreactive cells within its boundaries that appears to be homologous to the preoptic medial nucleus (POM) described previously in Japanese quail. In several birds alternate sections were stained for immunoreactive vasotocin, a marker of the paraventricular nucleus (PVN). This information facilitated the clear separation of the POM in zebra finches from nuclei that are adjacent to the POM in the preoptic area-hypothalamus, such as the PVN and the ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus. Positively staining cells were also detected widely throughout the telencephalon. Cells were discerned in the medial parts of the ventral hyperstriatum and neostriatum near the lateral ventricle and in dorsal and medial parts of the hippocampus. They were most abundant in the caudal neostriatum where they clustered in the dorsomedial neostriatum, and as a band of cells coursing along the dorsal edge of the lamina archistriatalis dorsalis. They were also present in high numbers in the ventrolateral aspect of the neostriatum and in the nucleus taeniae. None of the telencephalic vocal control nuclei had appreciable numbers of cells immunoreactive for aromatase within their boundaries

  20. Sperm Precedence in Zebra Finches Does Not Require Special Mechanisms of Sperm Competition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Colegrave, N.; Birkhead, T.R.; Lessells, C.M.

    1995-01-01

    Competition between the spermatozoa of different males to fertilize the eggs of a single female acts as a selection pressure on the behaviour of males and females. However, quantitative predictions about behaviour fan only be made if the paternity consequences of different patterns of copulation are

  1. The energetic cost of variations in wing span and wing asymmetry in the zebra finch Taeniopygia guttata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hambly, C; Harper, E J; Speakman, J R

    2004-10-01

    Asymmetry is a difference in the sizes of bilaterally paired structures. Wing asymmetry may have an effect on the kinematics of flight, with knock-on effects for the energetic cost of flying. In this study the 13C-labelled bicarbonate technique was used to measure the energy expended during the flight of zebra finches Taeniopygia guttata, prior to and after experimental manipulation to generate asymmetry and a change in wing span by trimming the primary feathers. In addition, simultaneous high-speed video footage enabled differences in flight kinematics such as flight speed, wing amplitude, up- and downstroke duration and wing beat frequency to be examined. In 10 individuals, the primary feathers on the right wing were trimmed first, by 0.5 cm, and then by an additional 0.5 cm in six of these individuals. In a separate 'control' group (N=7), approximately 0.25 cm was trimmed off the primary feathers of both wings, to produce the same reduction in wing span as 0.5 cm trimmed from one wing, while maintaining symmetry. When birds were manipulated to become asymmetric they maintained flight speed. They also increased the left wing amplitude and decreased the right up- and downstroke durations to counteract the changes in wing shape, which meant that they had an increase in wing beat frequency. When the wing area was reduced while maintaining symmetry, birds flew with slower flight speed. In this case wing amplitude did not change and wing upstroke slightly decreased, causing an increased wing beat frequency. The mean flight cost in the pre-manipulated birds was 1.90+/-0.1 W. There was a slight increase in flight cost with both of the asymmetry manipulations (0.5 cm, increase of 0.04 W; 1.0 cm, increase of 0.12 W), neither of which reached statistical significance. There was, however, a significantly increased flight cost when the wing span was reduced without causing asymmetry (increase of 0.45 W; paired t-test T=2.3, P=0.03).

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    S. Schoenmakers (Sam); E. Wassenaar (Evelyne); J.S.E. Laven (Joop); J.A. Grootegoed (Anton); W.M. Baarends (Willy)

    2010-01-01

    textabstractDuring male meiotic prophase in mammals, X and Y are in a largely unsynapsed configuration, which is thought to trigger meiotic sex chromosome inactivation (MSCI). In avian species, females are ZW, and males ZZ. Although Z and W in chicken oocytes show complete, largely heterologous syna

  3. Anatomically discrete sex differences in neuroplasticity in zebra finches as reflected by perineuronal nets

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cornez, Gilles; ter Haar, Sita M; Cornil, Charlotte A; Balthazart, Jacques

    2015-01-01

    Large morphological sex differences in the vertebrate brain were initially identified in song control nuclei of oscines. Besides gross differences between volumes of nuclei in males and females, sex differences also concern the size and dendritic arborization of neurons and various neurochemical mar

  4. Genomic organization and molecular phylogenies of the beta (β keratin multigene family in the chicken (Gallus gallus and zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata: implications for feather evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sawyer Roger H

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The epidermal appendages of reptiles and birds are constructed of beta (β keratins. The molecular phylogeny of these keratins is important to understanding the evolutionary origin of these appendages, especially feathers. Knowing that the crocodilian β-keratin genes are closely related to those of birds, the published genomes of the chicken and zebra finch provide an opportunity not only to compare the genomic organization of their β-keratins, but to study their molecular evolution in archosaurians. Results The subfamilies (claw, feather, feather-like, and scale of β-keratin genes are clustered in the same 5' to 3' order on microchromosome 25 in chicken and zebra finch, although the number of claw and feather genes differs between the species. Molecular phylogenies show that the monophyletic scale genes are the basal group within birds and that the monophyletic avian claw genes form the basal group to all feather and feather-like genes. Both species have a number of feather clades on microchromosome 27 that form monophyletic groups. An additional monophyletic cluster of feather genes exist on macrochromosome 2 for each species. Expression sequence tag analysis for the chicken demonstrates that all feather β-keratin clades are expressed. Conclusions Similarity in the overall genomic organization of β-keratins in Galliformes and Passeriformes suggests similar organization in all Neognathae birds, and perhaps in the ancestral lineages leading to modern birds, such as the paravian Anchiornis huxleyi. Phylogenetic analyses demonstrate that evolution of archosaurian epidermal appendages in the lineage leading to birds was accompanied by duplication and divergence of an ancestral β-keratin gene cluster. As morphological diversification of epidermal appendages occurred and the β-keratin multigene family expanded, novel β-keratin genes were selected for novel functions within appendages such as feathers.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David F Clayton

    2014-12-01

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

  6. Activity in a premotor cortical nucleus of zebra finches is locally organized and exhibits auditory selectivity in neurons but not in glia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael H Graber

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-03-01

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

  8. SK channels modulate the excitability and firing precision of projection neurons in the robust nucleus of the arcopallium in adult male zebra finches

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Guo-Qiang Hou; Xuan Pan; Cong-Shu Liao; Song-Hua Wang; Dong-Feng Li

    2012-01-01

    [Objective] Motor control is encoded by neuronal activity.Small conductance Ca2+-activated Kˉ channels (SK channels) maintain the regularity and precision of firing by contributing to the afterhyperpolarization (AHP) of the action potential in mammals.However,it is not clear how SK channels regulate the output of the vocal motor system in songbirds.The premotor robust nucleus of the arcopallium (RA) in the zebra finch is responsible for the output of song information.The temporal pattern of spike bursts in RA projection neurons is associated with the timing of the acoustic features of birdsong.[Methods] The firing properties of RA projection neurons were analyzed using patch clamp wholecell and cell-attached recording techniques.[Results] SK channel blockade by apamin decreased the AHP amplitude and increased the evoked firing rate in RA projection neurons.It also caused reductions in the regularity and precision of firing.RA projection neurons displayed regular spontaneous action potentials,while apamin caused irregular spontaneous firing but had no effect on the firing rate.In the absence of synaptic inputs,RA projection neurons still had spontaneous firing,and apamin had an evident effect on the firing rate,but caused no significant change in the firing regularity,compared with apamin application in the presence of synaptic inputs.[Conclusion]SK channels contribute to the maintenance of firing regularity in RA projection neurons whichrequires synaptic activity,and consequently ensures the precision of song encoding.

  9. Behavioral Relevance of Species-Specific Vasotocin Anatomy in Gregarious Finches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aubrey M Kelly

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Despite substantial species differences in the vasotocin/vasopressin (VT/VP circuitry of the medial bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BSTm and lateral septum (LS; a primary projection target of BSTm VT/VP cells, functional consequences of this variation are poorly known. Previous experiments in the highly gregarious zebra finch (Estrildidae: Taeniopygia guttata demonstrate that BSTm VT neurons promote gregariousness in a male-specific manner and reduce anxiety in both sexes. However, in contrast to the zebra finch, the less gregarious Angolan blue waxbill (Estrildidae: Uraeginthus angolensis exhibits fewer VT-immunoreactive cells in the BSTm as well as differences in receptor distribution across the LS subnuclei, suggesting that knockdown of VT production in the BSTm would produce behavioral effects in Angolan blue waxbills that are distinct from zebra finches. Thus, we here quantified social contact, gregariousness (i.e. preference for the larger of two groups, and anxiety-like behavior following bilateral antisense knockdown of VT production in the BSTm of male and female Angolan blue waxbills. We find that BSTm VT neurons promote social contact, but not gregariousness (as in male zebra finches, and that antisense effects on social contact are significantly stronger in male waxbills than in females. Knockdown of BSTm VT production has no effect on anxiety-like behavior. These data provide novel evidence that species differences in the VT/VP circuitry arising in the BSTm are accompanied by species-specific effects on affiliation behaviors.

  10. In vivo synaptic transmission in the zebra finch high vocal center and robust nucleus of the arcopallium after different stimulus patterns

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Suqun Liao; Wenxiao Liu; Peng Xiao; Dongfeng Li

    2008-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Electrophysiological studies using brain slices have revealed that the developmental regulation of synaptic plasticity in vocal learning pathway is essential for song learning in zebra finches. Publications reporting in vivo electrophysiological investigation are scarce. Many aspects of neural mechanisms underlying song learning and production still remain uncertain.OBJECTIVE: To observe the efficacy of paired pulses and the effect on synaptic transmission induced by low-frequency stimulations, high-frequency stimulations, and theta-burst stimulations.DESIGN, TIME AND SETTING: A comparative observation. The experiment was conducted from October 2006 to October 2007 in the Neurophysiology Laboratory of South-China Normal University.MATERIALS: Twenty-four adult male zebra finches were supplied by the Department of Animal Experiment of College of Life Sciences, South China Normal University. A SEN-7203 stimulator (NIHON KOHDEN), as well as a DSJ-731WF microelectrode amplifier and DSJ-F amplifier (provided by South-China Normal University), were used to stimulate and record, respectively.METHODS: Animals were randomly divided into low-frequency, high-frequency, and theta-burst frequency stimulation groups. After recording evoked potentials, an input-output curve was evaluated. Subsequently, the efficacy of paired pulses with different stimulus intensity (1/3, 1/2, 2/3, or 3/4 of the value that induced the largest synaptic response), as well as interpulse intervals (50, 75, and 100ms), was measured in each group. The test stimulus intensity was set to a level that evoked 1/2 or 1/3 amplitude of the maximum response.MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Changes in amplitude, slope, and area of evoked potentials elicited by different stimulus patterns.RESULTS: (1) Efficacy of paired pulses: there was significant paired-pulse facilitation in the high vocal center and robust nucleus of the arcopallium (HVC-RA) synapse. Efficacy decreased when paired-pulse intervals or stimulus

  11. Cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript peptide (CART) in the brain of zebra finch, Taeniopygia guttata: Organization, interaction with neuropeptide Y, and response to changes in energy status.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Omprakash; Kumar, Santosh; Singh, Uday; Kumar, Vinod; Lechan, Ronald M; Singru, Praful S

    2016-10-15

    Cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART) has emerged as a potent anorectic agent. CART is widely distributed in the brain of mammals, amphibians, and teleosts, but the relevant information in avian brain is not available. In birds, CART inhibits food intake, whereas neuropeptide Y (NPY), a well-known orexigenic peptide, stimulates it. How these neuropeptides interact in the brain to regulate energy balance is not known. We studied the distribution of CART-immunoreactivity in the brain of zebra finch, Taeniopygia guttata, its interaction with NPY, and their response to dynamic energy states. CART-immunoreactive fibers were found in the subpallium, hypothalamus, midbrain, and brainstem. Conspicuous CART-immunoreactive cells were observed in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, hypothalamic paraventricular, supraoptic, dorsomedial, infundibular (IN), lateral hypothalamic, Edinger-Westphal, and parabrachial nuclei. Hypothalamic sections of fed, fasted, and refed animals were immunostained with cFos, NPY, and CART antisera. Fasting dramatically increased cFos- and NPY-immunoreactivity in the IN, followed by rapid reduction by 2 hours and restoration to normal fed levels 6-10 hours after refeeding. CART-immunoreactive fibers in IN showed a significant reduction during fasting and upregulation with refeeding. Within the IN, double immunofluorescence revealed that 94 ± 2.1% of NPY-immunoreactive neurons were contacted by CART-immunoreactive fibers and 96 ± 2.8% NPY-immunoreactive neurons expressed cFos during fasting. Compared to controls, superfused hypothalamic slices of fasted birds treated with CART-peptide showed a significant reduction (P CART in the brain of T. guttata may perform several functions, and has a particularly important role in the hypothalamic regulation of energy homeostasis. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:3014-3041, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. Ontogeny and nutritional status influence oxidative kinetics of nutrients and whole-animal bioenergetics in zebra finches, Taeniopygia guttata: new applications for (13)C breath testing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCue, Marshall D; McWilliams, Scott R; Pinshow, Berry

    2011-01-01

    Rapidly growing animals or those that are recovering from nutritional stress may use exogenous nutrients differently from well fed adults. To test this possibility, we compared the rates of exogenous nutrient oxidation among fledgling, fasted adult, and refed adult zebra finches using a technique called breath testing, where animals are fed (13)C-labeled nutrients and (13)C in the exhaled breath is collected and quantified. In order to identify the possible mechanisms responsible for differences in oxidative kinetics of ingested nutrients, we also compared body mass (m(b)), organ mass, core body temperature (T(b)), and metabolic rate (MR). We found that fasted birds had lower T(b), relative liver and intestine masses, MR, and respiratory exchange ratios (RERs) than fed adults. Adult birds recovering from nutritional stress had much lower rates of exogenous nutrient oxidation than fed birds; this difference was particularly evident for fatty acids. Differences in oxidative kinetics were correlated with reduced RER, m(b), and liver mass, suggesting that previously fasted birds were using recently assimilated nutrients to replenish exhausted fuel stores. Rapidly growing fledglings oxidized exogenous nutrients as quickly as fed adults, despite their significantly lower m(b) and T(b). We suggest that fledglings had higher mass-specific rates of exogenous nutrient oxidation because they must compensate for the relatively low conversion efficiency of feather production and other lean tissue growth, which was not taking place in the adults. Although this study demonstrates that ontogeny and nutritional status influence the way that birds oxidize exogenous nutrients, it also underscores the likelihood that environmental and endogenous factors shape how other types of animals spend the nutrients they ingest.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-09-01

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

  15. c-fos is induced in the hippocampus during consolidation of sexual imprinting in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sadananda, Monika; Bischof, Hans-Joachim

    2004-01-01

    c-fos was used to mark regions of enhanced neuronal activity during sexual imprinting, an early learning process by which information about the prospective sexual partner is acquired and consolidated. In the present study, we demonstrate that the hippocampus, already known for its specialized spatial memory capacities in navigating pigeons and in food-storing birds, depicts a selective differential c-fos induction in a situation shown to lead to sexual imprinting, that is, exposing previously isolated male birds to a female for 1 h. c-fos induction is lateralized, the left hippocampus showing more c-fos activity than the right. Our results would indicate a role for the hippocampus in the consolidation process of imprinting, probably in the transfer of information to the other telencephalic areas that show alterations in synaptic connectivity as a result of consolidation of sexual imprinting.

  16. Estrogen levels influence medullary bone quantity and density in female house finches and pine siskins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Squire, Maria E; Veglia, Megan K; Drucker, Kevin A; Brazeal, Kathleen R; Hahn, Thomas P; Watts, Heather E

    2017-05-15

    Medullary bone, a non-structural osseous tissue, serves as a temporary storage site for calcium that is needed for eggshell production in a number of avian species. Previous research focusing primarily on domesticated species belonging to the Anseriformes, Galliformes, and Columbiformes has indicated that rising estrogen levels are a key signal stimulating medullary bone formation; Passeriformes (which constitute over half of extant bird species and are generally small) have received little attention. In the current study, we examined the influence of estrogen on medullary bone and cortical bone in two species of Passeriformes: the Pine Siskin (Spinus pinus) and the House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus). Females of these species received either an estradiol implant or were untreated as a control. After 4.5-5months, reproductive condition was assessed and leg (femora) and wing (humeri) bones were collected for analysis using high-resolution (10μm) micro-computed tomography scanning. We found that in both species estradiol-treated females had significantly greater medullary bone quantity in comparison to untreated females, but we found no differences in cortical bone quantity or microarchitecture. We were also able to examine medullary bone density in the pine siskins and found that estradiol treatment significantly increased medullary bone density. Furthermore, beyond the effect of the estradiol treatment, we observed a relationship between medullary bone quantity and ovarian condition that suggests that the timing of medullary bone formation may be related to the onset of yolk deposition in these species. Further research is needed to better understand the precise timing and endocrine regulation of medullary bone formation in Passerines and to determine the extent to which female Passerines rely on medullary bone calcium during the formation of calcified eggshells. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Mate choice in adult female Bengalese finches: females express consistent preferences for individual males and prefer female-directed song performances.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunning, Jeffery L; Pant, Santosh; Bass, Aaron; Coburn, Zachary; Prather, Jonathan F

    2014-01-01

    In the process of mate selection by female songbirds, male suitors advertise their quality through reproductive displays in which song plays an important role. Females evaluate the quality of each signal and the associated male, and the results of that evaluation guide expression of selective courtship displays. Some studies reveal broad agreement among females in their preferences for specific signal characteristics, indicating that those features are especially salient in female mate choice. Other studies reveal that females differ in their preference for specific characteristics, indicating that in those cases female evaluation of signal quality is influenced by factors other than simply the physical properties of the signal. Thus, both the physical properties of male signals and specific traits of female signal evaluation can impact female mate choice. Here, we characterized the mate preferences of female Bengalese finches. We found that calls and copulation solicitation displays are equally reliable indicators of female preference. In response to songs from an array of males, each female expressed an individual-specific song preference, and those preferences were consistent across tests spanning many months. Across a population of females, songs of some males were more commonly preferred than others, and females preferred female-directed songs more than undirected songs, suggesting that some song features are broadly attractive. Preferences were indistinguishable for females that did or did not have social experience with the singers, indicating that female preference is strongly directed by song features rather than experiences associated with the singer. Analysis of song properties revealed several candidate parameters that may influence female evaluation. In an initial investigation of those parameters, females could be very selective for one song feature yet not selective for another. Therefore, multiple song parameters are evaluated independently

  18. The Effect of Castration on the Synaptic Plasticity of HVC-RA in Adult Male Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia Guttata)%去势对成年雄性斑胸草雀HVC-RA突触可塑性的影响

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    陈小鑫; 王松华; 李东风

    2016-01-01

    应用在体电生理方法研究了去势前后成年雄性斑胸草雀发声运动通路中HVC-RA 突触的可塑性变化,进一步探讨雄激素在调节鸣唱行为中的作用和机制。结果表明:低频刺激可引起 HVC-RA突触群体峰电位幅度的短时程抑制( Short-term depression, STD),高频刺激可引起群体峰电位幅度的长时程抑制( Long-term depression, LTD)。而去势后30 d,鸣曲稳定时再给予同样的条件刺激,发现无论低频或高频刺激,HVC-RA 突触的短时程抑制和长时程抑制现象同时消失。研究结果显示:鸣曲稳定性可能依赖于HVC-RA通路的突触可塑性,雄激素在维持鸣曲稳定过程中发挥重要作用。%Songbirds are animal with the ability of vocal learning like human, and the neural basis of vocal learning is similar to the language learning of human. This study investigated the changes in synaptic plasticity of HVC-RA synapses in adult male zebra finches after castration with in vivo electrophysiology technique, analysed the potential functions and mechanisms of androgen in the process of modulating courtship song and song maintaining. The re-sults showed that low frequency stimulation induced short-term depression, high frequency stimulation induced long-term depression in HVC-RA synapses of adult male zebra finches. When the singing was stable after castration, we found that low or high frequency stimulation could not induce long-term or short-term synaptic depression. These re-sults suggested that the stability of singing may depend on HVC-RA synaptic plasticity, and androgens may play an important role in the song stability.

  19. THE ROLE OF SEXUAL IMPRINTING FOR SEX RECOGNITION IN ZEBRA FINCHES - A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MALES AND FEMALES

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    VOS, DR

    1995-01-01

    In sexually dimorphic birds, morphological characteristics are assumed to play an important role in conspecific sex recognition. In spite of the limited evidence, most studies done so far support this assumption. Less attention has been given to the question of how adult birds may have acquired the

  20. 成年雄性斑胸草雀高级发声中枢鸣声控制的右侧优势%Right Side Dominance of Song Control in High Vocal Center in Adult Male Zebra Finches

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    张萌; 李东风

    2014-01-01

    鸣禽是研究语言功能的动物模型。鸣禽端脑的高级发声中枢(high vocal center, HVC)与人类布洛卡氏区具有功能同源性。利用电损毁与声谱分析相结合的方法,对成年雄性斑胸草雀两侧HVC分别进行电损毁,观察HVC控制鸣声的侧别差异。结果表明,损毁左侧HVC对长鸣和鸣曲的频域和声强特征均无显著性影响。损毁右侧HVC导致长鸣的振幅、调频、幅度调制显著减小(p To determine the lateral asymmetry in HVC control of song production, electrolytic lesions of HVC and acoustic analysis technology were used. In our experiments, all birds received unilateral HVC lesion prior to bilateral HVC lesion, and then sound were compared and analyzed before and after electrolytic lesion of HVC. Fifteen adult males (left lesion, n=8;right lesion, n=7) received lesion targeting HVC. Structure of syllables has the characteristics of fast frequency modulations in adult male zebra finches, motifs of songs consist of several sequentially arranged syllables. Songs and long calls were analyzed spectrographically using Sound Analysis Pro (SAP), we extracted the acoustic parameters including durations, amplitude, fundamental frequency, mean frequency, peak frequency, frequency modulation, amplitude modulation and similarity score. Nissl-counterstained sections of all brains were carefully examined to assess lesion damage. The results showed that the lesion of left HVC had no significant influence to frequency and intensity features in song and long call. Lesion of right HVC result in amplitude, frequency modulation, amplitude modulation decreased significantly (p < 0.05) in long call, and amplitude, mean frequency, peak frequency reduced significantly (p < 0.05) in song. The change of temporal feature after bilateral HVC lesions suggested that the coding of the temporal feature requires the both hemispheres integration of the song system. HVC has right dominance in the control frequency and

  1. Mismatch in sexual dimorphism of developing song and song control system in blue-capped cordon-bleus, a songbird species with singing females and males

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lobato, M; Vellema, Michiel; Gahr, C;

    2015-01-01

    Brain song control regions of adult passerine birds are sexually dimorphic in species such as the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) in which males sing whereas females do not. In many tropical bird species, however, females sing as well. Here we study for the first time the ontogeny of the song...... control system and the song in a species in which both male and female sing regularly. In blue-capped cordon-bleus (Uraeginthus cyanocephalus), a distant relative of the zebra finch, both males and females start singing at around 30–40 day post-hatching (dph). First we quantified that sex......-specific differences in song features emerged only in adulthood, after 250 dph of age: Adult females sang complex songs, which were slightly shorter and contained fewer syllables as compared to the males. Second, the development of forebrain song control regions HVC (proper name) and RA (nucleus robustus arcopallii...

  2. Taxonomy Icon Data: zebra finch [Taxonomy Icon

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available Taeniopygia_guttata_NL.png Taeniopygia_guttata_S.png Taeniopygia_guttata_NS.png http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy..._icon/icon.cgi?i=Taeniopygia+guttata&t=L http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Taeniopygia+gu...ttata&t=NL http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Taeniopygia+guttata&t...=S http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Taeniopygia+guttata&t=NS ...

  3. Sex-dependent foraging effort and vigilance in coal-crested finches, Charitospiza eucosma (Aves: Emberizidae during the breeding season: evidence of female-biased predation?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pedro Diniz

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Sexual dimorphism in birds is often attributed to sexual selection, but another interpretation suggests the evolution of this phenomenon by natural selection. Predation may be an important selective pressure, acting mainly on females. In this study, I tested the latter hypothesis on the coal-crested finch (Charitospiza eucosma Oberholser, 1905 in a neotropical savanna of the Central Brazil (Cerrado. I used capture methods for ascertaining the sex ratio in the population, and focal observations to gather behavioral data. My results show that the sex ratio is skewed toward males (1:1.39. Males were more vigilant, vocalized for longer periods of time, and used higher perches than females. Females foraged more, spent more time on parental care and remained on the ground for longer periods than males. These results support the 'foraging effort hypothesis, suggesting that females are more preyed upon because they spend more time foraging. Ultimately, this may reflect the fact that females invest more on parental care than males. The sex-dependent parental investment may favor the evolution of different antipredator strategies in males and females: the camouflage in females as a less efficient strategy than vigilance in males.

  4. 速激肽1型受体(NK1 R)在斑胸草雀脑干鸣唱控制相关核团及部分听觉核团内的分布%DISTRIBUTION OF NEURONKININ-1 RECEPTOR (NK1 R) IN VOCAL CONTROL RELATED NUCLEUS AND SOME AUDITORY NUCLEUS IN THE BRAINSTEM OF MALE ZEBRA FINCHES

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    黄丽; 徐程; 张信文; 孙颖郁

    2014-01-01

    采用免疫组织化学的方法研究了速激肽1型受体(NK1R)在斑胸草雀脑干发声控制核团和部分听觉中枢内的分布及阳性标记特征。结果显示,NK1R广泛分布于斑胸草雀发声控制核团和部分听觉中枢内;1)发声控制相关核团:中脑丘间复合体背内侧核(DM)有大量的 NK1R免疫阳性胞体标记,极少出现纤维;中脑腹侧被盖区(VTA)、黑质致密部(SNc)及周围脑区有大量的 NK1R阳性胞体和 NK1R免疫阳性纤维分布;2)听觉中枢:中脑背外侧核(MLd)和耳蜗核前庭外侧核(NM)有密集的胞体标记;而耳蜗核层状核(NL)及角核(NA)有少量 NK1R 阳性胞体分散分布,且角核可见大量密集深染纤维。本实验结果提示 NK1R可能在鸣禽的发声控制及听觉中枢内具有重要的生理功能。%Immunohistochemistry was used to characterize neurokinin-1 receptor (NK1R)distribution in vocal control-related nucleus and auditory nucleus in the brain stem of adult male zebra finch.It was found that NK1R was distributed widely in vocal control-related nucleus and in auditory pathway in the brain stem of adult male zebra finch.Abundant NK1R immunopositive soma but few fibers were identified in vocal control nuclei DM (dorsomedial nucleus of intercollicular complex).Numerous NK1R-positive soma and fibers were found in vocal control nuclei VTA (ventral tegmental area)and SNc (substantia nigra compacta)as well as encephalic regions around them in midbrain.Intensive NK1R-positive soma were found in auditory center nucleus MLd (mesencephalicus lateralis pars dorsalis)and cochlear nucleus NM (nucleus magnocellularis).A few labeled soma were dispersed in cochlear nucleus NL (nucleus laminaris)and in NA (nucleus angularis),abundant strongly labeled fibers were found in NA.These data suggest that NK1R plays an important physiological role in vocal production and auditory perception.

  5. Effect of lesion of nucleus robustus archistriatalis on call in bramble finch (Fringilla montifringilla)

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    JlANG; Jinchang(

    2001-01-01

    [1]Li Dongfeng, Efferent projections of nucleus robustus archistriatalis in songbirds, Chinese Journal of Neuroanatomy (in Chinese), 1997, 13 (1): 71-74.[2]Wild, J. M., Descending projection of the songbird nucleus robustus archistriatalis, J.Comp. Neurol., 1997, 338: 225-241.[3]Nottebohm, F., Stokes, T. M., Leonard, C. M., Central control of song in the canary, Serinus canarius, J. Comp. Neurol.,1976, 207: 344-357.[4]Simpson, H. B., Vicario, D. S., Brain pathways for learned and unlearned vocalizations differ in zebra finch, J. Neurosci.,1990, 10 (5): 1541-1556.[5]Li Dongfeng, Jiang, .J.C., Li, J. et al., Effect of tracheosyrngeal denervation on call in greenfinch (Carduelis sinica), Science in China, Ser. C, 1999, 42 (6): 561-569.[6]Stokes. T. M., Leonard, C. M., Nottebohm, F., The telencephalon diencephalon and mesencephalon of the canary, Serinus canarius, in stereotaxic coordinates, J. Comp. Neurol., 1974, 156: 337-374.[7]Williams, H., Cynx, J., Nottebohm, F., Timbre control in zebra finch (Taenopygia guttata) song syllables, J. Comp. Psychol., 1990, 103: 366-380.[8]Vicario, D. S., Motor mechanisms relevant to auditory-vocal interactions in songbirds, Brain Behav. Evol., 1994, 44:265-278.[9]Vicario, D. S., Nottebohm, F., Organization of the zebra finch song control system: I. Representation of syringeal muscles in the hypoglossal nucleus, J. Comp. Neurol., 1988, 271: 346-354.[10]Vicario. D. S., Organization of the zebra finch song control system: Ⅱ. Functional organization of outputs from nucleus robustus archistriatalis, J. Comp. Neurol., 1991, 309: 456-494.[11]Vicario, D. S., A new brain-stem pathway for vocal control in the zebra finch song system, Neuroreport, 1993, 4: 983-986.[12]Seller, T. J., Midbrain vocalization centers in birds, Trends Neurosci., 1981, 4: 301-303.[13]Vicario, D. S., Contributions of syringeal muscles to respiration and vocalization in the zebra finch, J. Neurobiol.1991,22 (1): 63

  6. Ecoimmunity in Darwin's finches: invasive parasites trigger acquired immunity in the medium ground finch (Geospiza fortis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah K Huber

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Invasive parasites are a major threat to island populations of animals. Darwin's finches of the Galápagos Islands are under attack by introduced pox virus (Poxvirus avium and nest flies (Philornis downsi. We developed assays for parasite-specific antibody responses in Darwin's finches (Geospiza fortis, to test for relationships between adaptive immune responses to novel parasites and spatial-temporal variation in the occurrence of parasite pressure among G. fortis populations. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We developed enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs for the presence of antibodies in the serum of Darwin's finches specific to pox virus or Philornis proteins. We compared antibody levels between bird populations with and without evidence of pox infection (visible lesions, and among birds sampled before nesting (prior to nest-fly exposure versus during nesting (with fly exposure. Birds from the Pox-positive population had higher levels of pox-binding antibodies. Philornis-binding antibody levels were higher in birds sampled during nesting. Female birds, which occupy the nest, had higher Philornis-binding antibody levels than males. The study was limited by an inability to confirm pox exposure independent of obvious lesions. However, the lasting effects of pox infection (e.g., scarring and lost digits were expected to be reliable indicators of prior pox infection. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: This is the first demonstration, to our knowledge, of parasite-specific antibody responses to multiple classes of parasites in a wild population of birds. Darwin's finches initiated acquired immune responses to novel parasites. Our study has vital implications for invasion biology and ecological immunology. The adaptive immune response of Darwin's finches may help combat the negative effects of parasitism. Alternatively, the physiological cost of mounting such a response could outweigh any benefits, accelerating population decline. Tests

  7. Ecoimmunity in Darwin's finches: invasive parasites trigger acquired immunity in the medium ground finch (Geospiza fortis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huber, Sarah K; Owen, Jeb P; Koop, Jennifer A H; King, Marisa O; Grant, Peter R; Grant, B Rosemary; Clayton, Dale H

    2010-01-06

    Invasive parasites are a major threat to island populations of animals. Darwin's finches of the Galápagos Islands are under attack by introduced pox virus (Poxvirus avium) and nest flies (Philornis downsi). We developed assays for parasite-specific antibody responses in Darwin's finches (Geospiza fortis), to test for relationships between adaptive immune responses to novel parasites and spatial-temporal variation in the occurrence of parasite pressure among G. fortis populations. We developed enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) for the presence of antibodies in the serum of Darwin's finches specific to pox virus or Philornis proteins. We compared antibody levels between bird populations with and without evidence of pox infection (visible lesions), and among birds sampled before nesting (prior to nest-fly exposure) versus during nesting (with fly exposure). Birds from the Pox-positive population had higher levels of pox-binding antibodies. Philornis-binding antibody levels were higher in birds sampled during nesting. Female birds, which occupy the nest, had higher Philornis-binding antibody levels than males. The study was limited by an inability to confirm pox exposure independent of obvious lesions. However, the lasting effects of pox infection (e.g., scarring and lost digits) were expected to be reliable indicators of prior pox infection. This is the first demonstration, to our knowledge, of parasite-specific antibody responses to multiple classes of parasites in a wild population of birds. Darwin's finches initiated acquired immune responses to novel parasites. Our study has vital implications for invasion biology and ecological immunology. The adaptive immune response of Darwin's finches may help combat the negative effects of parasitism. Alternatively, the physiological cost of mounting such a response could outweigh any benefits, accelerating population decline. Tests of the fitness implications of parasite-specific immune responses in Darwin

  8. Age effect of deafening on stereotyped song maintenance in adult male bengalese finches Lonchura striata domestica

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yingyu SUN; Rui WANG; Shuli SHAO; Shaoju ZENG; Mingxue ZUO

    2009-01-01

    Birdsong is a complex learned vocal behavior that relies on auditory experience for development. However, it appears that among different species of close-ended songbirds, there are some variations in the necessity of auditory feedback for maintaining stereotyped aduh song. In zebra finches, the deterioration of adult songs following deafness depends on the birds' age. It is unknown whether this age effect is a general ride in other avian species as well. Therefore, we chose Bengalese finches, whose songs show more complexity and have much heavier dependency on auditory feedback than that of zebra finches, to compare the degree of song degradation after heating loss in old (over 18 months old) and young adult birds (5-6 months old). We found that beth syllable sequence and syllable phonology were much leas severely affected by deafening in old adults than that in young ones. Moreover, young adults almost lost their capability to sing trills over 6 months following deafening, while old birds continued to sing plenty of trills and trilled syllables after the same period of deafening. Our results suggest that age plays an important role in affecting the dependency of adult song maintenance on auditory feedback in Bengalese finches. Furthermore, the age dependency may be a general phenomenon in different species of close-ended songbirds.

  9. Long-distance retinoid signaling in the zebra finch brain.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tina C Roeske

    Full Text Available All-trans retinoic acid (ATRA, the main active metabolite of vitamin A, is a powerful signaling molecule that regulates large-scale morphogenetic processes during vertebrate embryonic development, but is also involved post-natally in regulating neural plasticity and cognition. In songbirds, it plays an important role in the maturation of learned song. The distribution of the ATRA-synthesizing enzyme, zRalDH, and of ATRA receptors (RARs have been described, but information on the distribution of other components of the retinoid signaling pathway is still lacking. To address this gap, we have determined the expression patterns of two obligatory RAR co-receptors, the retinoid X receptors (RXR α and γ, and of the three ATRA-degrading cytochromes CYP26A1, CYP26B1, and CYP26C1. We have also studied the distribution of zRalDH protein using immunohistochemistry, and generated a refined map of ATRA localization, using a modified reporter cell assay to examine entire brain sections. Our results show that (1 ATRA is more broadly distributed in the brain than previously predicted by the spatially restricted distribution of zRalDH transcripts. This could be due to long-range transport of zRalDH enzyme between different nuclei of the song system: Experimental lesions of putative zRalDH peptide source regions diminish ATRA-induced transcription in target regions. (2 Four telencephalic song nuclei express different and specific subsets of retinoid-related receptors and could be targets of retinoid regulation; in the case of the lateral magnocellular nucleus of the anterior nidopallium (lMAN, receptor expression is dynamically regulated in a circadian and age-dependent manner. (3 High-order auditory areas exhibit a complex distribution of transcripts representing ATRA synthesizing and degrading enzymes and could also be a target of retinoid signaling. Together, our survey across multiple connected song nuclei and auditory brain regions underscores the prominent role of retinoid signaling in modulating the circuitry that underlies the acquisition and production of learned vocalizations.

  10. Heritability of telomere length in the Zebra Finch

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Atema, Els; Mulder, Ellis; Dugdale, Hannah L.; Briga, Michael; van Noordwijk, Arie J.; Verhulst, Simon

    2015-01-01

    Telomere length predicts survival in birds, and many stressors that presumably reduce fitness have also been linked to telomere length. The response to selection of telomere length will be largely determined by the heritability of this trait; however, little is known about the genetic component of t

  11. The reaction of the Cape Mountain Zebra (Equus Zebra Zebra to certain chemical immobilisation drugs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E Young

    1972-01-01

    Full Text Available he physiological reactions evoked by M@99 and Aza- perone in the Cape Mountain Zebra (Equus zebra Zebra are discussed. Notes on clinical as well as physiological parameters are presented and it is concluded that these drugs can be used effectively in the capture of individuals of this rare mammal.

  12. Experimental test of the effect of introduced hematophagous flies on corticosterone levels of breeding Darwin's finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knutie, Sarah A; Koop, Jennifer A H; French, Susannah S; Clayton, Dale H

    2013-11-01

    Parasites can negatively affect the evolutionary fitness of their hosts by eliciting physiological stress responses. Parasite-induced stress can be monitored by measuring changes in the adrenal steroid hormone corticosterone. We examined the effect of an invasive parasite on the corticosterone concentrations of a common species of Darwin's finch, the medium ground finch (Geospiza fortis). Philornis downsi (Diptera: Muscidae) is a parasitic nest fly recently introduced to the Galapagos Islands, where it feeds on the blood of nestlings and breeding adult female finches. Previous work shows that P. downsi significantly reduces the reproductive success of several species of finches. We predicted that the effect of P. downsi on host reproductive success is mediated by stress responses in breeding female finches. High stress levels could reduce the ability of females to invest in offspring, thus decreasing their reproductive success. To test this hypothesis, we experimentally manipulated the abundance of P. downsi in nests, then measured baseline and acute stress-induced corticosterone levels, body condition, and hematocrit (red blood cell content). Acute stress-induced corticosterone levels increased over baseline levels, but this response did not differ significantly with parasite treatment. There was also no significant difference in the body condition or hematocrit of females from parasitized versus non-parasitized nests. Our results suggest that the lower reproductive success of females from parasitized nests is not mediated by a physiological stress response.

  13. Zebra mussel life history

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ackerman, J.D. [Univ. of Northern British Columbia, Prince George, British Columbia (Canada)

    1995-06-01

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

  14. Pedigrees, assortative mating and speciation in Darwin's finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grant, Peter R; Grant, B Rosemary

    2008-03-22

    Pedigree analysis is a useful tool in the study of speciation. It can reveal trans-generational influences on the choice of mates. We examined mating patterns in a population of Darwin's medium ground finches (Geospiza fortis) on Daphne Major Island to improve our understanding of how a barrier to the exchange of genes between populations arises in evolution. Body sizes of mates were weakly correlated. In one year, the smallest females were paired non-randomly with the males of similar size, and in another year the largest males were paired with the largest females. An influence of parental morphology on the choice of mates, as expected from sexual imprinting theory, was found; the body size of mates was predicted by the body sizes of both parents, and especially strongly by the father's. These associations imply that the seeds of reproductive isolation between species are present within a single variable population. The implication was subject to a natural test: two exceptionally large birds of the study species, apparently immigrants, bred with each other, as did their offspring, and not with the members of the resident population. The intense inbreeding represents incipient speciation. It parallels a similar phenomenon when another species, the large ground finch, immigrated to Daphne and established a new population without interbreeding with the resident medium ground finches.

  15. Descriptive study of an outbreak of equine sarcoid in a population of Cape mountain zebra (Equus zebra zebra in the Gariep Nature Reserve

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P.J. Nel

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available An outbreak of equine sarcoid occurred in a population of Cape mountain zebra (Equus zebra zebra at the Gariep Nature Reserve located in the southern Free State Province of South Africa in 1996. The course of the outbreak during 1996 to 2003 is described. During this period the average population size was 69 animals. Initially (1996 all affected animals were removed from the population. New cases continued to manifest and the incidence varied between 4.6% and 17.6 %. Prevalence reached 24.7% in 2002. No sexual predilection was noticed in the 39 recorded cases. Of the affected individuals, 64 % had a single lesion and no animal had more than 4 lesions. In males, the majority of lesions occurred in the inguinal area (55.17 %, whereas in females they mostly occurred on the head and neck (41.38 %. Lesions can increase 260 % in size annually and may impede movement.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1992-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marranzino, Ashley

    2013-01-01

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

  18. Sisyphean evolution in Darwin's finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKay, Bailey D; Zink, Robert M

    2015-08-01

    The trajectory of speciation involves geographic isolation of ancestral populations followed by divergence by natural selection, genetic drift or sexual selection. Once started, the process may experience fits and starts, as sometimes diverging populations intermittently reconnect. In theory populations might cycle between stages of differentiation and never attain species status, a process we refer to as Sisyphean evolution. We argue that the six putative ground finch species (genus Geospiza) of the Galápagos Islands represent a dramatic example of Sisyphean evolution that has been confused with the standard model of speciation. The dynamic environment of the Galápagos, closely spaced islands, and frequent dispersal and introgression have prevented the completion of the speciation process. We suggest that morphological clusters represent locally adapted ecomorphs, which might mimic, and have been confused with, species, but these ecomorphs do not form separate gene pools and are ephemeral in space and time. Thus the pattern of morphological, behavioural and genetic variation supports recognition of a single species of Geospiza, which we suggest should be recognized as Darwin's ground finch (Geospiza magnirostris). We argue that instead of providing an icon of insular speciation and adaptive radiation, which is featured in nearly every textbook on evolutionary biology, Darwin's ground finch represents a potentially more interesting phenomenon, one of transient morphs trapped in an unpredictable cycle of Sisyphean evolution. Instead of revealing details of the origin of species, the mechanisms underlying the transient occurrence of ecomorphs provide one of the best illustrations of the antagonistic effects of natural selection and introgression.

  19. A comparison of spontaneous problem-solving abilities in three estrildid finch (Taeniopygia guttata, Lonchura striata var. domestica, Stagonopleura guttata) species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmelz, Martin; Krüger, Oliver; Call, Josep; Krause, E Tobias

    2015-11-01

    Cognition has been extensively studied in primates while other, more distantly related taxa have been neglected for a long time. More recently, there has been an increased interest in avian cognition, with the focus mostly on big-brained species like parrots and corvids. However, the majority of bird species has never systematically been studied in diverse cognitive tasks other than memory and learning tasks, so not much can yet be concluded about the relevant factors for the evolution of cognition. Here we examined 3 species of the estrildid finch family in problem-solving tasks. These granivorous, non-tool-using birds are distributed across 3 continents and are not known for high levels of innovation or spontaneous problem solving in the wild. In this study, our aim was to find such abilities in these species, assess what role domestication might play with a comparison of 4 genetically separated zebra finch strains, and to look for between-species differences between zebra finches, Bengalese finches, and diamond firetails. Furthermore, we established a 3-step spontaneous problem-solving procedure with increasing levels of complexity. Results showed that some estrildid finches were generally capable of spontaneously solving problems of variable complexity to obtain food. We found striking differences in these abilities between species, but not between strains within species, and offer a discussion of potential reasons. Our established methodology can now be applied to a larger number of bird species for phylogenetic comparisons on the behavioral level to get a deeper understanding of the evolution of cognitive abilities.

  20. Undirected (solitary birdsong in female and male blue-capped cordon-bleus (Uraeginthus cyanocephalus and its endocrine correlates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicole Geberzahn

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Birdsong is a popular model system in research areas such as vocal communication, neuroethology or neuroendocrinology of behaviour. As most research has been conducted on species with male-only song production, the hormone-dependency of male song is well established. However, female singing and its mechanisms are poorly understood. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We characterised the song and its endocrine correlates of blue-capped cordon-bleus (Uraeginthus cyanocephalus, a species in which both sexes sing. Like other estrildids, they produce directed song during courtship and undirected (or solitary song in isolation, i.e. when the mate is not visible or absent. We compare solitary song of blue-capped cordon-bleus to published descriptions of the song of its relative, the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata. Solitary song of cordon-bleus shared some overall song features with that of zebra finches but differed in spectro-temporal song features, sequential stereotypy and sequential organisation. The song of cordon-bleus was dimorphic with respect to the larger size of syllable repertoires, the higher song duration and the lower variability of pitch goodness (measuring the pureness of harmonic sounds in males. However, in both sexes the overall plasma testosterone concentrations were low (ca. 300 pg/ml and did not correlate with the sexually dimorphic song motor pattern. Despite such low concentrations, the increase in the rate of solitary song coincided with an increase in the level of testosterone. Furthermore, the latency to start singing after the separation from the mate was related to hormone levels. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our findings suggest that the occurrence of solitary song but not its motor pattern might be under the control of testosterone in female and male cordon-bleus.

  1. Social context-induced song variation affects female behavior and gene expression.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah C Woolley

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available Social cues modulate the performance of communicative behaviors in a range of species, including humans, and such changes can make the communication signal more salient. In songbirds, males use song to attract females, and song organization can differ depending on the audience to which a male sings. For example, male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata change their songs in subtle ways when singing to a female (directed song compared with when they sing in isolation (undirected song, and some of these changes depend on altered neural activity from a specialized forebrain-basal ganglia circuit, the anterior forebrain pathway (AFP. In particular, variable activity in the AFP during undirected song is thought to actively enable syllable variability, whereas the lower and less-variable AFP firing during directed singing is associated with more stereotyped song. Consequently, directed song has been suggested to reflect a "performance" state, and undirected song a form of vocal motor "exploration." However, this hypothesis predicts that directed-undirected song differences, despite their subtlety, should matter to female zebra finches, which is a question that has not been investigated. We tested female preferences for this natural variation in song in a behavioral approach assay, and we found that both mated and socially naive females could discriminate between directed and undirected song-and strongly preferred directed song. These preferences, which appeared to reflect attention especially to aspects of song variability controlled by the AFP, were enhanced by experience, as they were strongest for mated females responding to their mate's directed songs. We then measured neural activity using expression of the immediate early gene product ZENK, and found that social context and song familiarity differentially modulated the number of ZENK-expressing cells in telencephalic auditory areas. Specifically, the number of ZENK-expressing cells in the

  2. Zebra: searching for rare diseases

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2012-01-01

    disease diagnostic hypotheses in the domain of medical IR. In this work, we build upon an existing vertical medical search engine, Zebra, that is focused on rare disease diagnosis. In previous work, Zebra has been evaluated using real-life medical cases of rare and difficult diseases, and has been found...... to be a useful and competitive tool for clinicians. In this work, we extend Zebra’s functionalities to optimise the task of medical diagnosis through search as follows: we add the option of grouping retrieved documents into clusters based on disease name occurrence, and we offer a ‘disease-ranking’ option...

  3. Darwin's Galapagos finches in modern biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abzhanov, Arhat

    2010-04-12

    One of the classic examples of adaptive radiation under natural selection is the evolution of 15 closely related species of Darwin's finches (Passeriformes), whose primary diversity lies in the size and shape of their beaks. Since Charles Darwin and other members of the Beagle expedition collected these birds on the Galápagos Islands in 1835 and introduced them to science, they have been the subjects of intense research. Many biology textbooks use Darwin's finches to illustrate a variety of topics of evolutionary theory, such as speciation, natural selection and niche partitioning. Today, as this Theme Issue illustrates, Darwin's finches continue to be a very valuable source of biological discovery. Certain advantages of studying this group allow further breakthroughs in our understanding of changes in recent island biodiversity, mechanisms of speciation and hybridization, evolution of cognitive behaviours, principles of beak/jaw biomechanics as well as the underlying developmental genetic mechanisms in generating morphological diversity. Our objective was to bring together some of the key workers in the field of ecology and evolutionary biology who study Darwin's finches or whose studies were inspired by research on Darwin's finches. Insights provided by papers collected in this Theme Issue will be of interest to a wide audience.

  4. ANDROID BASED TELEOPERATION FOR THE FINCH ROBOT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oliver Faust

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The act of creating a robot involves systems engineering and creative problem solutions. It is about using established components to create a system that works in the natural or at least in the human environment. The current project is no exception, we have used the Robot Operating System (ROS to create an android based teleoperator application for the Finch robot. A Raspberry Pi processing platform establishes the link between the android device and the Finch robot. The most creative task, during the system design, was to translate the commands from the teleoperator application into wheel movements of the Finch robot. The translation must take into account the physical setup of the robot, including unintended negative influences, such as drag. The command translation involved a nonlinear coordinate transformation. The ROS framework enabled us to focus on that nonstandard coordinate translation task by offering a high level of abstraction and the ability to create component functionalities independently.

  5. Changes in corticosterone concentrations and behavior during Mycoplasma gallisepticum infection in house finches (Haemorhous mexicanus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Love, Ashley C; Foltz, Sarah L; Adelman, James S; Moore, Ignacio T; Hawley, Dana M

    2016-09-01

    Glucocorticoid stress hormones are important for energy mobilization as well as regulation of the immune system, and thus these hormones are particularly likely to both influence and respond to pathogen infection in vertebrates. In this study, we examined how the glucocorticoid stress response in house finches (Haemorhous mexicanus) interacts with experimental infection of the naturally-occurring bacterial pathogen, Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG). We also investigated whether infection-induced concentrations of corticosterone (CORT), the primary glucocorticoid in birds, were associated with the expression of sickness behavior, the lethargy typically observed in vertebrates early in infection. We found that experimental infection with MG resulted in significantly higher CORT levels on day 5 post-infection, but this effect appeared to be limited to female house finches only. Regardless of sex, infected individuals with greater disease severity had the highest CORT concentrations on day 5 post-infection. House finches exposed to MG exhibited behavioral changes, with infected birds having significantly lower activity levels than sham-inoculated individuals. However, CORT concentrations and the extent of sickness behaviors exhibited among infected birds were not associated. Finally, pre-infection CORT concentrations were associated with reduced inflammation and pathogen load in inoculated males, but not females. Our results suggest that the house finch glucocorticoid stress response may both influence and respond to MG infection in sex-specific ways, but because we had a relatively low sample size of males, future work should confirm these patterns. Finally, manipulative experiments should be performed to test whether the glucocorticoid stress response acts as a brake on the inflammatory response associated with MG infection in house finches.

  6. Prevalence and body distribution of sarcoids in South African Cape mountain zebra (Equus zebra zebra

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H.J. Marais

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available There are no reports in the literature describing any tumours, and specifically sarcoids, in zebras. The equine sarcoid, a locally aggressive, fibroblastic skin tumour, is the most common dermatological neoplasm reported in horses. The Cape mountain zebra (CMZ has been described as one of the most vulnerable mammals in South Africa with current populations existing in isolated units. All South African CMZ are descendants from no more than 30 individual animals originating from 3 populations, namely the Mountain Zebra National Park, and Kammanassie and Gamka Mountain Nature Reserves near Cradock. The possibility therefore exists that the existing populations arose from a very small gene pool and that they are considerably inbred. A reduction in major histocompatibility complex diversity due to genetic bottlenecks and subsequent inbreeding probably contributed to uniform population sensitivity and the subsequent development of sarcoid in two CMZ populations, namely in the Bontebok National Park and Gariep Nature Reserve. The entire population of CMZ in the Bontebok National Park was observed and sampled during 2002 to document the prevalence and body distribution of sarcoids. During the same year, a comparative study was carried out on an outbred population of Burchell's zebra in the Kruger National Park. The prevalence in CMZ in the Bontebok National Park was 53 %, while the Burchell's zebra in Kruger National Park had a prevalence of 1.9 %. The most common sites for sarcoid in CMZ were the ventral abdomen and limbs. Prevalence of sarcoids in horses recorded in the literature varies between 0.5%and 2%. The Gariep Nature Reserve recently reported a prevalence of almost 25 % in CMZ in the reserve.

  7. Maintenance of a captive flock of house finches free of infection by Mycoplasma gallisepticum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nolan, P M; Duckworth, R A; Hill, G E; Roberts, S R

    2000-01-01

    Since the beginning of an epidemic of conjunctivitis in wild house finches caused by Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG), all captive colonies established by capturing free-ranging house finches from the eastern population have also either been infected at the time of capture or developed infection shortly after capture. In an attempt to avoid this infection in captive flocks being maintained for studies of the finches' behavior and ecology, we compared two different flock management strategies and were able to prevent the development of mycoplasmal conjunctivitis with one of the strategies. Single-sex flocks were built by introducing only seronegative wild-caught birds showing no clinical signs of conjunctivitis and covering their outdoor flight cages with netting to prevent interaction with other wild birds although only the female flocks were initially treated with a 6-wk course of tylosin tartrate (0.3 mg/ml). The female flocks never developed conjunctivitis although the disease did develop in the male flocks. Furthermore, serologic assessments of the healthy flock by serum plate agglutination assays for MG indicated that the females remained free of MG infection in the final 7 wk of the study, during which they were unmedicated. We conclude that any low-level MG infection not diagnosed by the initial test for seroconversion was cleared by the prolonged drug treatment.

  8. Last news on zebra pattern

    CERN Document Server

    Chernov, Gennady

    2015-01-01

    The publications of the last three years concerning to studying of the most intriguing fine structure in type IV solar radio bursts - zebra pattern (ZP), are surveyed. The main attention is paid to new observations, irrespective of whether a paper does include detailed interpretation of an event or simply reports about the beginning of operation of a new tool. The radiation mechanism of the ZP on a double plasma resonance (DPR) remains the most widespread and standard, though ten alternative mechanisms were offered. However, in a number of works difficulties with the explanation of a complex zebra are noted, especially in a combination with fiber bursts and spikes. Therefore, several papers in which the radiation mechanism of a zebra on the DPR is improved, are considered in more detail. Without positional observations we have a great opportunity to follow the dynamics of flare processes using SDO / AIA images in several EUV lines. In the discussion, the debatable questions with the comparison of mechanism on...

  9. Do individual females differ intrinsically in their propensity to engage in extra-pair copulations?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wolfgang Forstmeier

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: While many studies have investigated the occurrence of extra-pair paternity in wild populations of birds, we still know surprisingly little about whether individual females differ intrinsically in their principal readiness to copulate, and to what extent this readiness is affected by male attractiveness. METHODOLOGY/FINDINGS: To address this question I used captive zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata as a model system. I first measured female readiness to copulate when courted by a male for the first time in life. Second, I conducted choice-chamber experiments to assess the mating preferences of individual females prior to pair formation. I then paired females socially with a non-desired mate and once they had formed a stable pair bond, I observed the inclination of these females to engage in extra-pair copulations with various males. Females showing a high readiness to copulate when courted by a male for the first time in life were much more likely to engage in extra-pair copulations later in life than others. Male attractiveness, as measured in choice tests, was a useful predictor of whether females engaged in extra-pair copulations with these males, but, surprisingly, the attractiveness of a female's social partner had no effect on her fidelity. However, it remained unclear what made some males more attractive than others. Contrary to a widespread but rarely tested hypothesis, females did not preferentially copulate with males having a redder beak or singing at a higher rate. Rather it seemed that song rate was a confounding factor in choice-chamber experiments: song attracted the female's attention but did not increase the male's attractiveness as a copulation partner. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Intrinsic variation in female readiness to copulate as well as variation in the attractiveness of the extra-pair male but not the social partner decided the outcome of extra-pair encounters.

  10. Linguistic birds : exploring cognitive abilities in zebra finches by using artificial grammars

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chen, Jiani

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this thesis is to shed light on whether some capacities that are considered linked to, or characteristic for, language are shared between humans and nonhuman animals, which can help to understand the basic cognitive abilities from which the evolution of human language may have arisen. The

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-07-01

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

  12. Growing up and growing old : A longitudinal study on aging in zebra finches

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Briga, Michael

    2016-01-01

    De omgevingskwaliteit tijdens de groei kan een enorm effect hebben op volwassen levensduur. Er wordt vaak aangenomen dat opgroeien in slechte omstandigheden levensduur verkort, maar er is ook de alternatieve hypothese dat individuen die opgroeien in slechte omstandigheden als volwassene juist beter

  13. Context-dependent effects of carotenoid supplementation on reproduction in zebra finches

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Simons, Mirre J. P.; Briga, Michael; Leenknegt, Bas; Verhulst, Simon

    2014-01-01

    Carotenoid-dependent sexual coloration is one of the best-studied sexual signals, but how the honesty of such signals is maintained remains uncertain. The main hypotheses focus on acquisition limits and physiological use of carotenoids in immune function and regulating oxidative stress. A hypothesis

  14. Zebra Finch Song Phonology and Syntactical Structure across Populations and Continents-A Computational Comparison

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lachlan, Robert F; van Heijningen, Caroline A A; Ter Haar, Sita M; Ten Cate, Carel

    2016-01-01

    Learned bird songs are often characterized by a high degree of variation between individuals and sometimes between populations, while at the same time maintaining species specificity. The evolution of such songs depends on the balance between plasticity and constraints. Captive populations provide

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brust, V.; Krüger, O.; Naguib, M.; Krause, E.T.

    2014-01-01

    Long-term effects of early developmental conditions on physiological and behavioural traits are commonin animals. Yet, such lifelong effects of early life conditions on learning skills received relatively lessattention, even though they are expected to have strong fitness effects. To test the lifelo

  16. Delayed behavioral effects of postnatal exposure to corticosterone in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Spencer, K. A.; Verhulst, S.

    2007-01-01

    Early developmental conditions can significantly influence the growth and survival of many animal species. We studied the consequences of exposure to corticosterone (CORT), a stress hormone, during the nestling stage on two behavioral traits (neophobia, social dominance) measured when the birds had

  17. Post-natal exposure to corticosterone affects standard metabolic rate in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Spencer, K. A.; Verhulst, S.

    2008-01-01

    Post-natal stress has been shown to have important short and long term effects on many adult traits in birds. During stress, metabolic alterations often result in the mobilization of energy away from energy-sensitive functions such as growth, which could have significant implications for developing

  18. Co-existence of zebra mussels and freshwater unionids: Population dynamics of Leptodea fragilis in a coastal wetland infested with zebra mussels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nichols, S. Jerrine; Amberg, Jon

    1999-01-01

    In 1996, thousands of live Leptodea fragilis were collected from a marsh located in the western basin of Lake Erie that was infested with zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha). Despite the presence of zebra mussels at this site for a number of years, this L. fragilis population showed no signs of competition-induced changes in population dynamics. Biofouling was limited: fewer than 1% of the L. fragilis showed evidence of recent or past zebra mussel colonization. Successful recruitment occurred yearly, with multiple year classes collected that ranged in age from 1 to 12 years. However, age and shell length were not well correlated. Seventy-one percent of the individuals collected were 51-80 mm long, but ranged in age from 2 to 4.5 years. Three different patterns of growth or shell deposition were found. Some individuals grew rapidly, reaching 105 mm in 3.5 years, while others grew only 4.5 mm over the same time period. A few grew poorly during some years but very rapidly in others. Individuals with a shell length of 41 mm or more were sexually mature and females were more common than males. The strong recruitment and steady growth of this population showed no change between the years before and after the zebra mussel invasion, indicating that this marsh is functioning as a natural refugium from potential problems caused by zebra mussels.

  19. What limits the Serengeti zebra population?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grange, Sophie; Duncan, Patrick; Gaillard, Jean-Michel; Sinclair, Anthony R.E.; Gogan, Peter J.; Packer, Craig; Hofer, Heribert; Marion, East

    2004-01-01

    The populations of the ecologically dominant ungulates in the Serengeti ecosystem (zebra, wildebeest and buffalo) have shown markedly different trends since the 1960s: the two ruminants both irrupted after the elimination of rinderpest in 1960, while the zebras have remained stable. The ruminants are resource limited (though parts of the buffalo population have been limited by poaching since the 1980s). The zebras' resource acquisition tactics should allow them to outcompete the ruminants, but their greater spatial dispersion makes them more available to predators, and it has been suggested that this population is limited by predation. To investigate the mechanisms involved in the population dynamics of Serengeti zebra, we compared population dynamics among the three species using demographic models based on age-class-specific survival and fecundity. The only major difference between zebra and the two ruminants occurred in the first-year survival. We show that wildebeest have a higher reproductive potential than zebra (younger age at first breeding and shorter generation time). Nevertheless, these differences in reproduction cannot account for the observed differences in the population trends between the zebra and the ruminants. On the other hand, among-species differences in first-year survival are great enough to account for the constancy of zebra population size. We conclude that the very low first-year survival of zebra limits this population. We provide new data on predation in the Serengeti and show that, as in other ecosystems, predation rates on zebras are high, so predation could hold the population in a "predator pit". However, lion and hyena feed principally on adult zebras, and further work is required to discover the process involved in the high mortality of foals.

  20. Androgen receptor gene polymorphism in zebra species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hideyuki Ito

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Androgen receptor genes (AR have been found to have associations with reproductive development, behavioral traits, and disorders in humans. However, the influence of similar genetic effects on the behavior of other animals is scarce. We examined the loci AR glutamine repeat (ARQ in 44 Grevy's zebras, 23 plains zebras, and three mountain zebras, and compared them with those of domesticated horses. We observed polymorphism among zebra species and between zebra and horse. As androgens such as testosterone influence aggressiveness, AR polymorphism among equid species may be associated with differences in levels of aggression and tameness. Our findings indicate that it would be useful to conduct further studies focusing on the potential association between AR and personality traits, and to understand domestication of equid species.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amanda D Melin

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-07-24

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

  3. Steam treatment of zebra mussels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tsou, J. [Electric Power Research Institute, Palo Alto, CA (United States); Rybarik, D.L.; Thiel, J. [Dairyland Power Cooperative, La Crosse, WI (United States); Mussalli, Y.G.; Collins, F. [Stone & Webster Environmental Technology & Services, Boston, MA (United States)

    1996-08-01

    Steam injection into intake bays is a nonchemical method to control zebra mussels. This technique was demonstrated at Dairyland Power Cooperative`s J.P. Madgett Station located in Alma, Wisconsin. The project was funded by the EPRI Zebra Mussel Consortium which includes: Dairyland Power Cooperative, Central Illinois Public Service, Duke Power, Illinois Power Company, PSI Energy, Public Service Electric & Gas, and Tennessee Valley Authority. This technique can be used by other power plants around the nation. The steam treatments were performed at the J.P. Madgen intake in Alma, Wisconsin, on September 14 and 18, 1994. The J.P. Madgen Station has two water intake bays with capacities of approximately 295,000 gallons and 265,000 gallons each. Each intake can be isolated, permitting either full or reduced generation depending on river temperature conditions. In addition to the intake bays, the outside fire protection loop and hydrants were also treated with the hot water from one of the bays. This paper presents the process design, piping and steam educator configurations, portable industrial boiler sizing and description, and the thermocouples to monitor the water temperature in the intake bay. The biological mortality and control test protocol and treatment results are also presented. Treatment effectiveness was 100%, however equipment installation and operation was more problematic than anticipated. 3 refs., 5 figs., 2 tabs.

  4. ZEBRA battery meets USABC goals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dustmann, Cord-H.

    In 1990, the California Air Resources Board has established a mandate to introduce electric vehicles in order to improve air quality in Los Angeles and other capitals. The United States Advanced Battery Consortium has been formed by the big car companies, Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and the Department of Energy in order to establish the requirements on EV-batteries and to support battery development. The ZEBRA battery system is a candidate to power future electric vehicles. Not only because its energy density is three-fold that of lead acid batteries (50% more than NiMH) but also because of all the other EV requirements such as power density, no maintenance, summer and winter operation, safety, failure tolerance and low cost potential are fulfilled. The electrode material is plain salt and nickel in combination with a ceramic electrolyte. The cell voltage is 2.58 V and the capacity of a standard cell is 32 Ah. Some hundred cells are connected in series and parallel to form a battery with about 300 V OCV. The battery system including battery controller, main circuit-breaker and cooling system is engineered for vehicle integration and ready to be mounted in a vehicle [J. Gaub, A. van Zyl, Mercedes-Benz Electric Vehicles with ZEBRA Batteries, EVS-14, Orlando, FL, Dec. 1997]. The background of these features are described.

  5. ZENK expression in a restricted forebrain area correlates negatively with preference for an imprinted stimulus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huchzermeyer, Christine; Husemann, Pamela; Lieshoff, Carsten; Bischof, Hans-Joachim

    2006-07-15

    Sexual imprinting is an early learning process by which young birds acquire the characteristics of a potential sexual partner. The physiological basis of this learning process is an irreversible reduction of dendritic spines in two forebrain areas, the LNM (lateral nido-mesopallium) and the MNM (medial nido-mesopallium). The aim of the present study was to investigate whether these two brain areas are activated if the imprinted stimulus is presented to the adult bird after the end of the sensitive period. One group of zebra finch males was reared by their own parents. These birds, as adults, showed an exclusive preference for their own species in choice tests between a zebra finch and a Bengalese finch female. If exposed as adults to a zebra finch female, LNM and MNM showed lower activation, as measured by ZENK expression, compared to males exposed to a Bengalese finch female. A second group was reared by Bengalese finches and was exposed at day 100 to a zebra finch female for 1 week. As shown earlier, this regime leads to mixed choices, the birds are courting Bengalese and zebra finch females with a fixed ratio (preference score). If these birds were exposed to a zebra finch female as adults, the ZENK expression within LNM was much higher compared to group 1, and it showed a strong tendency to correlate negatively with the preference score: Birds with higher zebra finch preference showed lower activation compared to those with a low zebra finch and a high Bengalese finch preference. We propose that higher ZENK activation in group 2 is due to the rearing by a foster species which may result in a more complex neuronal network. The negative relation between activation and preference score may be explained by special properties of the LNM and MNM networks.

  6. Personality is Tightly Coupled to Vasopressin-Oxytocin Neuron Activity in a Gregarious Finch

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aubrey M Kelly

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Nonapeptides of the vasopressin-oxytocin family modulate social processes differentially in relation to sex, species, behavioral phenotype, and human personality. However, the mechanistic bases for these differences are not well understood, in part because multidimensional personality structures remain to be described for common laboratory animals. Based upon principal components (PC analysis of extensive behavioral measures in social and nonsocial contexts, we now describe three complex dimensions of phenotype (personality for the zebra finch, a species that exhibits a human-like social organization that is based upon biparental nuclear families embedded within larger social groups. These dimensions can be characterized as Social competence/dominance, Gregariousness, and Anxiety. We further demonstrate that the phasic Fos response of nonapeptide neurons in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus and medial bed nucleus of the stria terminalis are significantly predicted by personality, sex, social context, and their interactions. Furthermore the behavioral PCs are each associated with a distinct suite of neural PCs that incorporate both peptide cell numbers and their phasic Fos responses, indicating that personality is reflected in complex patterns of neuromodulation arising from multiple peptide cell groups. These findings provide novel insights into the mechanisms underlying sex- and phenotype-specific modulation of behavior, and should be broadly relevant, given that vasopressin-oxytocin systems are strongly conserved across vertebrates.

  7. Zebra fish: an uncharted behavior genetic model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerlai, Robert

    2003-09-01

    The zebra fish has been a preferred subject of genetic analysis. It produces a large number of offspring that can be kept in small aquaria, it can be easily mutagenized using chemical mutagens (e.g., ethyl nitrosourea [ENU]), and high-resolution genetic maps exist that aid identification of novel genes. Libraries containing large numbers of mutant fish have been generated, and the genetic mechanisms of the development of zebra fish, whose embryo is transparent, have been extensively studied. Given the extensive homology of its genome with that of other vertebrate species including our own and given the available genetic tools, zebra fish has become a popular model organism. Despite this popularity, however, surprisingly little is known about its behavior. It is argued that behavioral analysis is a powerful tool with which the function of the brain may be studied, and the zebra fish will represent an excellent subject of such analysis. The present paper is a proof of concept study that uses pharmacological manipulation (exposure to alcohol) to show that the zebra fish is amenable to the behavioral genetic analysis of aggression and thus may allow us to reveal molecular mechanisms of this behavioral phenomenon relevant to vertebrates.

  8. Comparative stereology of the mouse and finch left ventricle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bossen, E H; Sommer, J R; Waugh, R A

    1978-01-01

    The volume fractions and surface per unit cell volume of some subcellular components of the left ventricles of the finch and mouse were quantitated by stereologic techniques. These species were chosen for study because they have similar heart rates but differ morphologically in some respects: fiber diameter is larger in the mouse; the mouse has transverse tubules while the finch does not; and the finch has a form of junctional sarcoplasmic reticulum (JSR), extended JSR (EJSR), located in the cell interior with no direct plasmalemmal contact, while the mouse interior JSR (IJSR) abuts on transverse tubules. Our data show that the volume fraction (Vv) and surface area per unit cell volume (Sv) of total SR, and free SR (FSR) are similar. The volume fractions of mitochondria, myofibrils, and total junctional SR were also similar. The Sv of the cell surface of the finch was similar to the Sv of the cell surface of the mouse (Sv-plasmalemma plus Sv of the transverse tubules). The principal difference was in the distribution of JSR; the mouse peripheral JSR (PJSR) represents only 9% of the total JSR, while the finch PJSR accounts for 24% of the bird's JSR. The similar volume fractions of total junctional SR (PJSR + EJSR in the finch; PJSR + IJSR in the mouse) suggest that the EJSR is not an embryologic remnant, and raises the possibility that some function of JSR is independent of plasmalemmal contact.

  9. The complete mitochondrial genome of the Metriaclima zebra.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Xi; Song, Xiao-Lei; Chen, Ling-Yun; Li, Yong

    2016-09-01

    Cichlid fish from East Africa are remarkable for phenotypic and behavioral diversity on a backdrop of genomic similarity. Metriaclima zebra is a member of the Cichlidae family. Here, we reported the complete mitogenome sequence of M. zebra, which was 16 582 bp and contained 13 protein-coding genes, 22 transfer RNA genes, 2 ribosomal RNA genes and 1 non-coding control region. A phylogenetic tree was constructed based on complete mitogenomes of M. zebra and 11 closely related Cichlidae species to approve the accuracy. The complete mitochondrial genome of the M. zebra would provide more information for the research of M. zebra and the evolution of Cichlidae family.

  10. Zebras and Biting Flies: Quantitative Analysis of Reflected Light from Zebra Coats in Their Natural Habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Britten, Kenneth H.; Thatcher, Timothy D.; Caro, Tim

    2016-01-01

    Experimental and comparative evidence suggests that the striped coats of zebras deter biting fly attack, but the mechanisms by which flies fail to target black-and-white mammals are still opaque. Two hypotheses have been proposed: stripes might serve either to defeat polarotaxis or to obscure the form of the animal. To test these hypotheses, we systematically photographed free-living plains zebras in Africa. We found that black and white stripes both have moderate polarization signatures with a similar angle, though the degree (magnitude) of polarization in white stripes is lower. When we modeled the visibility of these signals from different distances, we found that polarization differences between stripes are invisible to flies more than 10 m away because they are averaged out by the flies’ low visual resolution. At any distance, however, a positively polarotactic insect would have a distinct signal to guide its visual approach to a zebra because we found that polarization of light reflecting from zebras is higher than from surrounding dry grasses. We also found that the stripes themselves are visible to flies at somewhat greater distances (up to 20 m) than the polarization contrast between stripes. Together, these observations support hypotheses in which zebra stripes defeat visually guided orienting behavior in flies by a mechanism independent of polarotaxis. PMID:27223616

  11. Ontogenetic oxygen changes alter zebra fish size, behavior, and blood glucose.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marks, C; Kaut, K P; Moore, F B-G; Bagatto, B

    2012-01-01

    Four male and four female zebra fish were crossed in all possible combinations, resulting in 389 offspring. These offspring were divided among four treatments: normoxia for 90 d, hypoxia for 90 d, normoxia for 30 d followed by hypoxia for 60 d, and hypoxia for 30 d followed by normoxia for 60 d. The effects of early oxygen environment, later oxygen environment, and genotype were then assessed with respect to zebra fish behavior, size, and blood glucose. Fish were tested in an arena where they could shoal with conspecifics before, during, and after the introduction of a novel stimulus. Blood glucose and size were also measured. Early oxygen environment influenced fish size, time spent swimming, and reactivity to a novel stimulus. Environmentally induced plasticity was predominate, with little evidence of among-sire variation for any of the measured parameters.

  12. Complete mitochondrial genome of the Zebra bullhead shark Heterodontus zebra (Heterodontiformes: Heterodontidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Xiao; Peng, Xin; Huang, Xiaolin; Xiang, Dan

    2014-08-01

    The complete mitochondrial genome of the Zebra bullhead shark Heterodontus zebra was first presented in this study. It was 16,720 bp in length, encoding 37 genes and one control region. The gene order and translate orientation were identical to most vertebrates. Overall nucleotide base composition of H. zebra mitogenome was 31.6% A; 26.8% C; 13.1% G and 28.4% T. Total 27 bp overlaps and 20 bp short intergenic spaces were found in 17 gene junctions in the genome. Two start codons (ATG and GTG) and three terminate codons (TAG, TAA and T) were found in 13 protein-coding genes. Except for tRNA-Ser2, which lost the dihydrouridine (DHU) arm and formed one simple loop, the remaining tRNAs could fold into the typical clover-leaf secondary structures. The termination-associated sequences and three short conserved blocks (CBS I-III) were identified in the control region.

  13. Chlorine dioxide treatment for zebra mussel control

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rybarik, D. [Dairyland Power Cooperative, La Crosse, WI (United States); Byron, J. [Nalco Chemical Company, Naperville, IL (United States); Germer, M. [Rio Linda Chemical Company, Sacramento, CA (United States)

    1995-06-01

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

  14. Affine transformations capture beak shape variation in Darwin's Finches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brenner, Michael; Campas, Otger; Mallarino, Riccardo; Abzhanov, Arhat

    2009-11-01

    Evolution by natural selection has resulted in extraordinary morphological complexity of living organisms, whose description has thus far defied any precise mathematical characterization linked to the underlying developmental genetics. Here we demonstrate that the morphological diversity of the beaks of Darwin's finches, the classical example of adaptive morphological radiation, is quantitatively accounted for through the mathematical group of affine transformations. Specifically, we show that all beak shapes of Ground Finches (genus Geospiza) are related by scaling transformations (a subgroup of the affine group), and the same scheme occurs for all the beak shapes of Tree and Warbler finches. This analysis shows that the beak shapes within each of these groups differ only by their scales, such as length and depth, each of which is knownto be under genetic control.The complete morphological variability within the beaks of Darwin's finches can be explained by extending the scaling transformations to the entire affine group, by including shear transformations. Altogether our results suggest that the mathematical theory of groups can help decode morphological variability, and points to a potentially hierarchical structure of morphological diversity and the underlying developmental processes.

  15. Phylogenetic relationships and morphological diversity in Darwin's finches and their relatives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burns, Kevin J; Hackett, Shannon J; Klein, Nedra K

    2002-06-01

    Despite the importance of Darwin's finches to the development of evolutionary theory, the origin of the group has only recently been examined using a rigorous, phylogenetic methodology that includes many potential outgroups. Knowing the evolutionary relationships of Darwin's finches to other birds is important for understanding the context from which this adaptive radiation arose. Here we show that analysis of mitochondrial DNA sequence data from the cytochrome b gene confirm that Darwin's finches are monophyletic. In addition, many taxa previously proposed as the sister taxon to Darwin's finches can be excluded as their closest living relative. Darwin's finches are part of a well-supported monophyletic group of species, all of which build a domed nest. All but two of the non-Darwin's finches included in this clade occur on Caribbean islands and most are Caribbean endemics. These close relatives of Darwin's finches show a diversity of bill types and feeding behaviors similar to that observed among Darwin's finches themselves. Recent studies have shown that adaptive evolution in Darwin's finches occurred relatively quickly. Our data show that among the relatives of Darwin's finches, the evolution of bill diversity was also rapid and extensive.

  16. SEXUAL IMPRINTING IN ZEBRA FINCH MALES - A DIFFERENTIAL EFFECT OF SUCCESSIVE AND SIMULTANEOUS EXPERIENCE WITH 2 COLOR MORPHS

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    VOS, DR; PRIJS, J; TENCATE, C

    Recent developments in theories of sexual imprinting have emphasized that sexual imprinting may lead to a preference for partners that are slightly different from the stimuli an animal has originally been exposed to. Two mechanisms have been proposed to account for this phenomenon. 1. Separate

  17. A newly discovered superoantero-orbital sinus connecting to the interaural canal may play a role in zebra finch hearing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Kenneth Kragh; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jakob; Suthers, Roderick A.

    on the amplitude gain and time delay through IAC. Theoretically, different combinations of frequency dependent gains and delays produce very different directionalities of the ears but it is still uncertain how gain and delay can be shaped by evolution. We have discovered that a large forehead sinus superoanterior...... to the orbits (superoantero-orbital sinus, SAOS) connects to the IAC via a tube inferomedial to the orbits (IMT). SAOS has a very complex shape with connections through an arc over the eye to the bullae of each ear and also to two smaller lateral sinuses in front of each eye. The contribution of this structure...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beck, Judy A.; Czerniak, Charlene M.

    2005-01-01

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

  19. Environmentally Safe Control of Zebra Mussel Fouling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Daniel Molloy

    2008-02-29

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

  20. [Application of zebra fishes in studies on traditional Chinese medicines].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Li-li; Zhu, Guo-fu

    2015-03-01

    The zebra fish model, as an integral animal model, features small volume, high throughput, low cost, short cycle and reliable experimental results, thus has been widely used in medical studies. Traditional Chinese medicines (TCM) constitute a complex system, their active ingredients and action mechanisms are among study hotspots in during the development of modern TCMs. Along with the constant improvement of advanced technologies and methods, zebra fishes have been increasingly applied in studies on TCMs and shown advantages in active screening, and toxicity and metabolism studies. In this paper, TCM studies by using zebra fishes in recent years are summarized to provide new ideas and methods for basic studies on TCMs.

  1. The zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha), a new pest in North America: reproductive mechanisms as possible targets of control strategies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ram, Jeffrey L.; Fong, Peter; Croll, Roger P.; Nichols, Susan J.; Wall, Darcie

    1992-01-01

    The zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) has spread rapidly in temperate fresh waters of North America since its introduction into the Great Lakes in 1985 or 1986. It attaches to hard substrates, forming layers, occluding water intakes, encrusting and killing native mussels, filtering algae in competition with other planktivores, and possibly interfering with fish spawning. It reproduces prolifically, suggesting that an approach to its control may be by controlling its reproduction. Previous literature suggests that spawning in bivalves is regulated by both environmental and internal chemical cues. A suggested sequence is that phytoplankton chemicals initially trigger spawning; chemicals associated with gametes provide a species-specific pheromonal positive feedback for spawning; and the response to environmental chemicals is mediated internally by serotonin (5-HT). The role of 5-HT in zebra mussels is under investigation. Both males and females can be induced to spawn by either injection or external application of 5-HT. The response can also be activated by 8-hydroxy-2-(di-n-propylamino)-tetralin, an agonist at 5-HT1A receptors. HPLC analysis has detected 5-HT as the major biogenic amine in both male and female gonads. 5-HT immunocytochemistry demonstrates nerves containing serotonergic fibers innervating gonads of both males and females, with prominent varicosities surrounding the follicles in both sexes. A role of 5-HT in mediating spawning responses in zebra mussels is thus strongly supported. These studies have shown that reproductive behavior of zebra mussels can be modified by outside chemicals, a property that may be exploited for purposes of control.

  2. Zebra and Quagga Mussel Distribution in North America - Direct Download

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — The concern caused by the explosive spread of the zebra mussel, (Dreissena polymorpha), within the United States resulted in passage of the Nonindigenous Aquatic...

  3. Zebra: An advanced PWR lattice code

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cao, L.; Wu, H.; Zheng, Y. [School of Nuclear Science and Technology, Xi' an Jiaotong Univ., No. 28, Xianning West Road, Xi' an, ShannXi, 710049 (China)

    2012-07-01

    This paper presents an overview of an advanced PWR lattice code ZEBRA developed at NECP laboratory in Xi'an Jiaotong Univ.. The multi-group cross-section library is generated from the ENDF/B-VII library by NJOY and the 361-group SHEM structure is employed. The resonance calculation module is developed based on sub-group method. The transport solver is Auto-MOC code, which is a self-developed code based on the Method of Characteristic and the customization of AutoCAD software. The whole code is well organized in a modular software structure. Some numerical results during the validation of the code demonstrate that this code has a good precision and a high efficiency. (authors)

  4. USGS Zebra Mussel Monitoring Program for north Texas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Churchill, Christopher J.; Baldys, Stanley

    2012-01-01

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

  5. HVC contributes toward conspecific contact call responding in male Bengalese finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urbano, Catherine M; Aston, Avery E; Cooper, Brenton G

    2016-05-04

    The processes of producing and acquiring birdsong, like human speech, utilize interdependent neural systems for vocal learning and production. In addition to song, these brain areas are undoubtedly used for other affiliative behaviors. Oscine sound production is lateralized because their vocal organ contains two independently controlled sound sources. Therefore, songbirds offer a unique opportunity to study the biological relevance of lateralized behavioral control. Bengalese finches (Lonchura striata domestica) produce different types of sound with each sound source: the left sound generator produces tonal frequencies from 1 to 4 kHz and the right sound source produces the lower frequency (<2 kHz) tonal and broadband sounds. We sought to investigate whether the premotor nucleus HVC contributes toward lateralized auditory processing of conspecific vocalizations. We ablated either the left or the right HVC and tested birds with the callback paradigm using female contact calls that were filtered to accentuate particular frequency ranges. The results show that (a) the acoustic frequency of call stimuli drives different patterns of calling behavior and that (b) both HVC nuclei contribute toward contact call production, but HVC ablation does not alter the number of short calls produced upon hearing a female contact call. These data are consistent with the emerging view that the motor production and auditory processing are linked and suggest that HVC may contribute toward affiliative behaviors by promoting the production of contact call responses.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. File list: Oth.Bld.20.EBV-ZEBRA.AllCell [Chip-atlas[Archive

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available Oth.Bld.20.EBV-ZEBRA.AllCell hg19 TFs and others EBV-ZEBRA Blood SRX573000,SRX57300...1 http://dbarchive.biosciencedbc.jp/kyushu-u/hg19/assembled/Oth.Bld.20.EBV-ZEBRA.AllCell.bed ...

  9. File list: Oth.ALL.50.EBV-ZEBRA.AllCell [Chip-atlas[Archive

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available Oth.ALL.50.EBV-ZEBRA.AllCell hg19 TFs and others EBV-ZEBRA All cell types SRX573001...,SRX573000 http://dbarchive.biosciencedbc.jp/kyushu-u/hg19/assembled/Oth.ALL.50.EBV-ZEBRA.AllCell.bed ...

  10. File list: Oth.Bld.50.EBV-ZEBRA.AllCell [Chip-atlas[Archive

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available Oth.Bld.50.EBV-ZEBRA.AllCell hg19 TFs and others EBV-ZEBRA Blood SRX573001,SRX57300...0 http://dbarchive.biosciencedbc.jp/kyushu-u/hg19/assembled/Oth.Bld.50.EBV-ZEBRA.AllCell.bed ...

  11. File list: Oth.ALL.05.EBV-ZEBRA.AllCell [Chip-atlas[Archive

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available Oth.ALL.05.EBV-ZEBRA.AllCell hg19 TFs and others EBV-ZEBRA All cell types SRX573000...,SRX573001 http://dbarchive.biosciencedbc.jp/kyushu-u/hg19/assembled/Oth.ALL.05.EBV-ZEBRA.AllCell.bed ...

  12. File list: Oth.Bld.10.EBV-ZEBRA.AllCell [Chip-atlas[Archive

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available Oth.Bld.10.EBV-ZEBRA.AllCell hg19 TFs and others EBV-ZEBRA Blood SRX573000,SRX57300...1 http://dbarchive.biosciencedbc.jp/kyushu-u/hg19/assembled/Oth.Bld.10.EBV-ZEBRA.AllCell.bed ...

  13. File list: Oth.ALL.20.EBV-ZEBRA.AllCell [Chip-atlas[Archive

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available Oth.ALL.20.EBV-ZEBRA.AllCell hg19 TFs and others EBV-ZEBRA All cell types SRX573000...,SRX573001 http://dbarchive.biosciencedbc.jp/kyushu-u/hg19/assembled/Oth.ALL.20.EBV-ZEBRA.AllCell.bed ...

  14. File list: Oth.ALL.10.EBV-ZEBRA.AllCell [Chip-atlas[Archive

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available Oth.ALL.10.EBV-ZEBRA.AllCell hg19 TFs and others EBV-ZEBRA All cell types SRX573000...,SRX573001 http://dbarchive.biosciencedbc.jp/kyushu-u/hg19/assembled/Oth.ALL.10.EBV-ZEBRA.AllCell.bed ...

  15. File list: Oth.Bld.05.EBV-ZEBRA.AllCell [Chip-atlas[Archive

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available Oth.Bld.05.EBV-ZEBRA.AllCell hg19 TFs and others EBV-ZEBRA Blood SRX573000,SRX57300...1 http://dbarchive.biosciencedbc.jp/kyushu-u/hg19/assembled/Oth.Bld.05.EBV-ZEBRA.AllCell.bed ...

  16. Extra-pair paternity in the long-tailed finch Poephila acuticauda

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erica P. van Rooij

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Although the majority of passerine birds are socially monogamous, true genetic monogamy is rare, with extra-pair paternity (EPP occurring in almost 90% of surveyed socially monogamous species. We present the first molecular data on the genetic breeding system of the long-tailed finch, Poephila acuticauda, a grass finch endemic to the tropical northern savannah of Australia. Although the species forms socially monogamous pair bonds during the breeding season, we found that extra-pair males sired 12.8% of 391 offspring, in 25.7% of 101 broods. Our findings provide only the second estimate of extra-pair paternity in the estrildid finch family.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-02-08

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

  18. n-dimensional isotropic Finch-Skea stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chilambwe, Brian; Hansraj, Sudan

    2015-02-01

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

  19. [Zebra fish cell movements during gastrulation].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Ting; Mo, Xian-Ming

    2013-04-01

    During zebrafish gastrulation, large cellular rearrangements create the formation of the three germ layers, ectoderm, mesoderm, and endoderm. This process includes three types of conserved morphogenetic movement: epiboly, involution, and convergent extension. Specially, the anterior movement of prechordal plate progenitors is essential for the location and differentiation of mesendoderm progenitors, and the pechordal plate progenitors'coherent migration is thought to be a good model to study the mechanism of cell movement in vivo. Gastrulation migration is known to be controlled by many signaling pathways such as Wnt/planar cell polarity signaling; however, the underlying molecular mechanism for cellular behavior remains unknown. At present, it is generally agree that cell adhesion and cytoskeletal rearrangement are critical factors during zebrafish gastrulation cell migration. In addition, the role of extraembryonic tissue (yolk syncytial layer) during gastrulation is concerned increasingly. Here, we described the essential factors for controlling cellular behaviors and highlighted the major issues and questions that require further investigation during zebra fish gastrular cell migration in order to provide a complete map containing all the factors for regulating gastrulation cell migration and their interactions on a cellular level.

  20. Regulation of stem cells in the zebra fish hematopoietic system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, H-T; Zon, L I

    2008-01-01

    Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) have been used extensively as a model for stem cell biology. Stem cells share the ability to self-renew and differentiate into multiple cell types, making them ideal candidates for tissue regeneration or replacement therapies. Current applications of stem cell technology are limited by our knowledge of the molecular mechanisms that control their proliferation and differentiation, and various model organisms have been used to fill these gaps. This chapter focuses on the contributions of the zebra fish model to our understanding of stem cell regulation within the hematopoietic system. Studies in zebra fish have been valuable for identifying new genetic and signaling factors that affect HSC formation and development with important implications for humans, and new advances in the zebra fish toolbox will allow other aspects of HSC behavior to be investigated as well, including migration, homing, and engraftment.

  1. Is there a link between shell morphology and parasites of zebra mussels?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minguez, Laëtitia; Lang, Anne-Sophie; Beisel, Jean-Nicolas; Giambérini, Laure

    2012-02-01

    The shell morphology of zebra mussels, Dreissena polymorpha, was analyzed to determine if alterations in shell shape and asymmetry between valves were related to its infection status, i.e. infected or not by microparasites like ciliates Ophryoglena spp. or intracellular bacteria Rickettsiales-like organisms (RLOs), and by macroparasites like trematodes Phyllodistomum folium and Bucephalus polymorphus. For microparasites, two groups of mussels were observed depending on shell measurements. Mussels with the more concave shells were the most parasitized by ciliates. This could be more a consequence than a cause and we hypothesized that a modification of the water flow through the mantle cavity could promote the infection with a ciliate. There were more RLOs present in the most symmetrical individuals. A potential explanation involved a canalization of the left-right asymmetry as a by-product of the parasite infection. Trematode infections were associated with different responses in valve width. Females infected by P. folium displayed significantly higher symmetry in valve width compared with non-infected congeners, whereas the infection involved an opposite pattern in males. B. polymorphus was also linked to a decrease in valve width asymmetry. This study suggested that a relationship exists between parasitism and shell morphology through the physiological condition of host zebra mussels. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Full Genome Sequences of Zebra-Borne Equine Herpesvirus Type 1 Isolated from Zebra, Onager and Thomson’s Gazelle

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT A strain of equine herpesvirus type 1 (EHV-1) was isolated from zebra. This strain, called “zebra-borne EHV-1”, was also isolated from an onager and a gazelle in zoological gardens in U.S.A. The full genome sequences of the 3 strains were determined. They shared 99% identities with each other, while they shared 98% and 95% identities with the horse derived EHV-1 and equine herpesvirus type 9, respectively. Sequence data indicated that the EHV-1 isolated from a polar bear in Germany i...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  4. A simple index of habitat suitability for Cape mountain zebras

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Novellie

    1993-09-01

    Full Text Available An index of habitat suitability for Cape mountain zebras was calculated using two parameters: acceptability indices for different grass species, and the aerial cover of the grass species in the habitat. The index was tested by calculating its value for a range of different habitat patches and comparing this with the frequency of use of the patches by zebras. The close relationship between the index and the observed frequency of use verified that the index could be used as a guide to habitat suitability. Two methods were used to determine the frequency of use of the patches: counts of faecal pellet groups and frequency of sightings. Both methods yielded similar results but the pellet group counts were less time- consuming and expensive. It is recommended that the index of habitat suitability be used (i as a parameter for monitoring of long-term changes in habitat suitability in the Mountain Zebra National Park and (ii as a guide for selecting appropriate areas to re- introduce mountain zebras.

  5. Heart synchronization for SPIM microscopy of living zebra fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, J. M.; Saunter, C. D.; Chaudhry, B.; Henderson, D. J.; Love, G. D.; Girkin, J. M.

    2011-03-01

    We describe work on producing a selective plane illumination microscope for cardiac imaging in zebra fish embryos. The system has a novel synchronization system for imaging oscillating structures (e.g. the heart) and will have adaptive optics for image optimization.

  6. Potato psyllid vector of zebra chip disease in Pacific Northwest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zebra chip is a destructive disease of potatoes in the Pacific Northwest and other potato production regions of North America. The pathogen associated with this disease is transmitted by the potato psyllid. A team of researchers which included a scientist at the ARS in Wapato, WA updated an extens...

  7. Productivity of Mountain Reedbugk Redunca Fulvorufula (Afzelius, 1815 at the Mountain Zebra National Park

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. D Skinner

    1980-01-01

    Full Text Available Eighty two adult mountain reedbuck Redunca fulvoru- fula were collected during four seasons, autumn, winter, spring and summer at the Mountain Zebra National Park mainly during 1975 and 1976. Body mass and carcass characteristics varied little with season, body mass varying from 24,0-35,5 kg for all buck shot and dressing percentage always exeeded 50. According to KFI animals were all in fair to good condition. Sixty four percent of all ewes were pregnant and 38,5 lactating. Females and males bred throughout the year but there was a peak in births during mid-summer. The species is highly productive, well adapted to the niche it occupies and lends itself to exploitation for meat production.

  8. Prevalence of blood parasites in eastern versus Western house finches: are eastern birds resistant to infection?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Andrew K; Hood, Wendy R; Hill, Geoffrey E

    2013-09-01

    The rapid spread of the bacterial disease, Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG), throughout the introduced range of house finches (Carpodacus mexicanus) in eastern North America, compared to its slower spread through the native western range, has puzzled researchers and highlights the need to understand the relative differences in health state of finches from both populations. We conducted a light-microscope survey of hemoparasites in populations of finches from Arizona (within the western range) and from Alabama (within the eastern range), and compared our estimates of prevalence to published reports from house finches sampled in both ranges. Of the 33 Arizona birds examined, we recorded hematozoan infections in 16 (48.5%) individuals, compared to 1 infected Alabama bird out of 30 birds examined (3.3%). Based on independent surveys of seven western North American and five eastern North American populations of house finches the average prevalence of blood parasites in western populations is 38.8% (±17.9 SD), while the average prevalence within the eastern range is only 5.9% (±6.1 SD). The average rate of infection among all songbirds sampled in the east is 34.2% (±4.8 SD). Thus, our surveys of wild birds as well as previously published observations point to eastern house finches having a much lower prevalence of blood parasite infections than their western counterparts. Combined with the fact that eastern finches also tend to have lower rates of avian pox infections than do western birds (based on a literature review), these observations suggest that eastern birds have either strong resistance to these infections or high susceptibility and associated mortality.

  9. Research regarding the influence of royal jelly on sex reversal in zebra fishes (Danio rerio

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvia Pătruică

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available In this study we observed the influence of royal jelly on sex reversal in zebra fishes (Daniorerio. Experiments were made in the laboratories of aquaculture from Faculty of Animal Science andBiotechnologies, Timișoara in the period 01.03.2010 – 15.05.2010 on 225 individuals. The dinamics ofstandard body weight, the standard length and the maximum body high at all individuals from treeexperimental variants were evaluated. It was indentified the number of males and females by directexamination of the body and microscopic observation of histological samples. In the first experimentalvariant the food was mixed with 0.02 g powdered royal jelly and recorded at the end of the experiment70.76% females and 29.24% males. In the second experimental variant, a double dose of powderedroyal jelly was mixed in the feed, this leading to the increasing of females in the group to 81,19%. Inthe control variant the percentage of females was 50.7% and the percentage of males was 49.3%.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  11. First description of the breeding biology and natural history of the ochre-breasted brush finch atlapetes semirufus in venezuela

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biancucci, L.; Martin, T.E.

    2008-01-01

    We provide the first description of the eggs, breeding biology, and natural history of the Ochre-breasted Brush Finch (Atlapetes semirufus). We found 37 nests over four breeding seasons (2004-2007) in Yacamb?? National Park, Venezuela. Nesting activity started in late April and continued until early June suggesting single-brooded behavior despite a typical tropical clutch size of two eggs (x?? = 1.89) that were laid on consecutive days. Egg mass averaged 3.38 g and 11.6% of adult female mass. The incubation and nestling periods averaged 14.9 and 10.5 days, respectively. Only females incubated and the percent time they spent incubating did not change between early and late incubation. Females brooded 42.7% of the time when nestlings were 2 days of age and 20.5% when 9 days of age. Both parents provisioned young at a low rate (3.9 trips/hr) and nestling growth rate (k = 0.45) was also slow. Nest predation rates were relatively high with daily mortality rates of 0.058 and 0.067 during incubation and nestling stages, respectively.

  12. Is Beak Morphology in Darwin's Finches Tuned to Loading Demands?

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    Joris Soons

    Full Text Available One of nature's premier illustrations of adaptive evolution concerns the tight correspondence in birds between beak morphology and feeding behavior. In seed-crushing birds, beaks have been suggested to evolve at least in part to avoid fracture. Yet, we know little about mechanical relationships between beak shape, stress dissipation, and fracture avoidance. This study tests these relationships for Darwin's finches, a clade of birds renowned for their diversity in beak form and function. We obtained anatomical data from micro-CT scans and dissections, which in turn informed the construction of finite element models of the bony beak and rhamphotheca. Our models offer two new insights. First, engineering safety factors are found to range between 1 and 2.5 under natural loading conditions, with the lowest safety factors being observed in species with the highest bite forces. Second, size-scaled finite element (FE models reveal a correspondence between inferred beak loading profiles and observed feeding strategies (e.g. edge-crushing versus tip-biting, with safety factors decreasing for base-crushers biting at the beak tip. Additionally, we identify significant correlations between safety factors, keratin thickness at bite locations, and beak aspect ratio (depth versus length. These lines of evidence together suggest that beak shape indeed evolves to resist feeding forces.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  15. Zebra mussel control using periodic chlorine dioxide treatments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tsou, J. [Electric Power Research Institute, Palo Alto, CA (United States); Coyle, J. [Central Illinois Public Service, Merdosia, IL (United States); Crone, D. [Illinois Power Company, Alton, IL (United States)] [and others

    1996-08-01

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

  16. Strange star admitting Chaplygin equation of state in Finch-Skea spacetime

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhar, Piyali

    2015-10-01

    In the present paper we propose a new model of an anisotropic strange star which admits the Chaplygin equation of state. The exterior spacetime is described by a Schwarzschild line element. The model is developed by assuming the Finch-Skea ansatz (Finch and Skea in Class. Quantum Gravity 6:467, 1989. We obtain the model parameters in closed form. Our model is free from a central singularity. Choosing some particular values for the parameter we show that our model corroborates the observational data of the strange star PSR J1614-2230 (Gangopadhyay et al. in Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc. 431:3216, 2013.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chestnut, Eleanor K.; Markman, Ellen M.

    2016-01-01

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

  18. Bioaccumulation of pathogenic bacteria and amoeba by zebra mussels and their presence in watercourses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mosteo, R; Goñi, P; Miguel, N; Abadías, J; Valero, P; Ormad, M P

    2016-01-01

    Dreissena polymorpha (the zebra mussel) has been invading freshwater bodies in Europe since the beginning of the nineteenth century. Filter-feeding organisms can accumulate and concentrate both chemical and biological contaminants in their tissues. Therefore, zebra mussels are recognized as indicators of freshwater quality. In this work, the capacity of the zebra mussel to accumulate human pathogenic bacteria and protozoa has been evaluated and the sanitary risk associated with their presence in surface water has also been assessed. The results show a good correlation between the pathogenic bacteria concentration in zebra mussels and in watercourses. Zebra mussels could therefore be used as an indicator of biological contamination. The bacteria (Escherichia coli, Enterococcus spp., Pseudomonas spp., and Salmonella spp.) and parasites (Cryptosporidium oocysts and free-living amoebae) detected in these mussels reflect a potential sanitary risk in water.

  19. Extraction and Reconstruction of Zebra Crossings from High Resolution Aerial Images

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yanbiao Sun

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, an automatic approach for zebra crossing extraction and reconstruction from high-resolution aerial images is proposed. In the extraction procedure, zebra crossings are extracted by the JointBoost classifier based on GLCM (Gray Level Co-occurrence Matrix features and 2D Gabor Features. In the reconstruction procedure, a geometric parameter model based on spatial repeatability relationships is globally fitted to reconstruct the geometric shape of zebra crossings. Additionally, a group of representative experiments is conducted to test the proposed method under interfered conditions, such as zebra crossings covered by pedestrians, shadows and color fading. Furthermore, the performance of the proposed extraction method is compared with the template matching method. Finally, the results show the validation of our proposed method, both in the extraction and reconstruction of zebra crossings.

  20. Apparent effect of chronic Plasmodium infections on disease severity caused by experimental infections with Mycoplasma gallisepticum in house finches

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    André A. Dhondt

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available An epidemic caused by a successful host jump of the bacterial pathogen Mycoplasma gallisepticum from poultry to house finches in the 1990s has by now spread across most of North America. M. gallisepticum causes severe conjunctivitis in house finches. We experimentally show that M. gallisepticum transmission to birds with or without chronic Plasmodium infection does not differ. However, once infected with M. gallisepticum house finches chronically infected with Plasmodium develop more severe clinical disease than birds without such infection. We speculate as to possible effects of coinfection.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Beamonte Barrientos, Rene; Verhulst, Simon

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the sources of variation in oxidative stress level is a challenging issue due to the implications of oxidative stress for late age diseases, longevity and life-history trade-offs. Reactive oxygen species that cause oxidative stress are mostly a by-product of energy metabolism and it is

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Beamonte Barrientos, Rene; Verhulst, Simon

    Understanding the sources of variation in oxidative stress level is a challenging issue due to the implications of oxidative stress for late age diseases, longevity and life-history trade-offs. Reactive oxygen species that cause oxidative stress are mostly a by-product of energy metabolism and it is

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Beamonte Barrientos, Rene; Verhulst, Simon

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the sources of variation in oxidative stress level is a challenging issue due to the implications of oxidative stress for late age diseases, longevity and life-history trade-offs. Reactive oxygen species that cause oxidative stress are mostly a by-product of energy metabolism and it is

  4. Auditory experience refines cortico-basal ganglia inputs to motor cortex via remapping of single axons during vocal learning in zebra finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller-Sims, Vanessa C; Bottjer, Sarah W

    2012-02-01

    Experience-dependent changes in neural connectivity underlie developmental learning and result in life-long changes in behavior. In songbirds axons from the cortical region LMAN(core) (core region of lateral magnocellular nucleus of anterior nidopallium) convey the output of a basal ganglia circuit necessary for song learning to vocal motor cortex [robust nucleus of the arcopallium (RA)]. This axonal projection undergoes remodeling during the sensitive period for learning to achieve topographic organization. To examine how auditory experience instructs the development of connectivity in this pathway, we compared the morphology of individual LMAN(core)→RA axon arbors in normal juvenile songbirds to those raised in white noise. The spatial extent of axon arbors decreased during the first week of vocal learning, even in the absence of normal auditory experience. During the second week of vocal learning axon arbors of normal birds showed a loss of branches and varicosities; in contrast, experience-deprived birds showed no reduction in branches or varicosities and maintained some arbors in the wrong topographic location. Thus both experience-independent and experience-dependent processes are necessary to establish topographic organization in juvenile birds, which may allow birds to modify their vocal output in a directed manner and match their vocalizations to a tutor song. Many LMAN(core) axons of juvenile birds, but not adults, extended branches into dorsal arcopallium (Ad), a region adjacent to RA that is part of a parallel basal ganglia pathway also necessary for vocal learning. This transient projection provides a point of integration between the two basal ganglia pathways, suggesting that these branches convey corollary discharge signals as birds are actively engaged in learning.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher Kirk Thompson

    2013-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawson, Anton E.

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawson, Anton E.

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  10. Different host exploitation strategies in two zebra mussel-trematode systems: adjustments of host life history traits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minguez, Laëtitia; Buronfosse, Thierry; Giambérini, Laure

    2012-01-01

    The zebra mussel is the intermediate host for two digenean trematodes, Phyllodistomum folium and Bucephalus polymorphus, infecting gills and the gonad respectively. Many gray areas exist relating to the host physiological disturbances associated with these infections, and the strategies used by these parasites to exploit their host without killing it. The aim of this study was to examine the host exploitation strategies of these trematodes and the associated host physiological disturbances. We hypothesized that these two parasite species, by infecting two different organs (gills or gonads), do not induce the same physiological changes. Four cellular responses (lysosomal and peroxisomal defence systems, lipidic peroxidation and lipidic reserves) in the host digestive gland were studied by histochemistry and stereology, as well as the energetic reserves available in gonads. Moreover, two indices were calculated related to the reproductive status and the physiological condition of the organisms. Both parasites induced adjustments of zebra mussel life history traits. The host-exploitation strategy adopted by P. folium would occur during a short-term period due to gill deformation, and could be defined as "virulent." Moreover, this parasite had significant host gender-dependent effects: infected males displayed a slowed-down metabolism and energetic reserves more allocated to growth, whereas females displayed better defences and would allocate more energy to reproduction and maintenance. In contrast, B. polymorphus would be a more "prudent" parasite, exploiting its host during a long-term period through the consumption of reserves allocated to reproduction.

  11. Different host exploitation strategies in two zebra mussel-trematode systems: adjustments of host life history traits.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laëtitia Minguez

    Full Text Available The zebra mussel is the intermediate host for two digenean trematodes, Phyllodistomum folium and Bucephalus polymorphus, infecting gills and the gonad respectively. Many gray areas exist relating to the host physiological disturbances associated with these infections, and the strategies used by these parasites to exploit their host without killing it. The aim of this study was to examine the host exploitation strategies of these trematodes and the associated host physiological disturbances. We hypothesized that these two parasite species, by infecting two different organs (gills or gonads, do not induce the same physiological changes. Four cellular responses (lysosomal and peroxisomal defence systems, lipidic peroxidation and lipidic reserves in the host digestive gland were studied by histochemistry and stereology, as well as the energetic reserves available in gonads. Moreover, two indices were calculated related to the reproductive status and the physiological condition of the organisms. Both parasites induced adjustments of zebra mussel life history traits. The host-exploitation strategy adopted by P. folium would occur during a short-term period due to gill deformation, and could be defined as "virulent." Moreover, this parasite had significant host gender-dependent effects: infected males displayed a slowed-down metabolism and energetic reserves more allocated to growth, whereas females displayed better defences and would allocate more energy to reproduction and maintenance. In contrast, B. polymorphus would be a more "prudent" parasite, exploiting its host during a long-term period through the consumption of reserves allocated to reproduction.

  12. Karyotypic conservatism in samples of Characidium cf. zebra (Teleostei, Characiformes, Crenuchidae): Physical mapping of ribosomal genes and natural triploidy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pansonato-Alves, José Carlos; Oliveira, Claudio; Foresti, Fausto

    2011-04-01

    Basic and molecular cytogenetic analyses were performed in specimens of Characidium cf. zebra from five collection sites located throughout the Tietê, Paranapanema and Paraguay river basins. The diploid number in specimens from all samples was 2n = 50 with a karyotype composed of 32 metacentric and 18 submetacentric chromosomes in both males and females. Constitutive heterochromatin was present at the centromeric regions of all chromosomes and pair 23, had additional interstitial heterochromatic blocks on its long arms. The nucleolar organizer regions (NORs) were located on the long arms of pair 23, while the 5S rDNA sites were detected in different chromosomes among the studied samples. One specimen from the Alambari river was a natural triploid and had two extra chromosomes, resulting in 2n = 77. The remarkable karyotypic similarity among the specimens of C. cf. zebra suggests a close evolutionary relationship. On the other hand, the distinct patterns of 5S rDNA distribution may be the result of gene flow constraints during their evolutionary history.

  13. Karyotypic conservatism in samples of Characidium cf. zebra (Teleostei, Characiformes, Crenuchidae: physical mapping of ribosomal genes and natural triploidy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Carlos Pansonato-Alves

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Basic and molecular cytogenetic analyses were performed in specimens of Characidium cf. zebra from five collection sites located throughout the Tietê, Paranapanema and Paraguay river basins. The diploid number in specimens from all samples was 2n = 50 with a karyotype composed of 32 metacentric and 18 submetacentric chromosomes in both males and females. Constitutive heterochromatin was present at the centromeric regions of all chromosomes and pair 23, had additional interstitial heterochromatic blocks on its long arms. The nucleolar organizer regions (NORs were located on the long arms of pair 23, while the 5S rDNA sites were detected in different chromosomes among the studied samples. One specimen from the Alambari river was a natural triploid and had two extra chromosomes, resulting in 2n = 77. The remarkable karyotypic similarity among the specimens of C. cf. zebra suggests a close evolutionary relationship. On the other hand, the distinct patterns of 5S rDNA distribution may be the result of gene flow constraints during their evolutionary history.

  14. Response of black-capped chickadees to house finch Mycoplasma gallisepticum.

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    André A Dhondt

    Full Text Available Tests for the presence of pathogen DNA or antibodies are routinely used to survey for current or past infections. In diseases that emerge following a host jump estimates of infection rate might be under- or overestimated. We here examine whether observed rates of infection are biased for a non-focal host species in a model system. The bacterium Mycoplasma gallisepticum is a widespread pathogen in house finches (Haemorhous mexicanus, a fringillid finch, but an unknown proportion of individuals of other songbird species are also infected. Our goal is to determine the extent to which detection of M. gallisepticum DNA or antibodies against the bacteria in a non-fringillid bird species is over- or underestimated using black-capped chickadees Poecile atricapillus, a species in which antibodies against M. gallisepticum are frequently detected in free-living individuals. After keeping black-capped chickadees in captivity for 12 weeks, during which period the birds remained negative for M. gallisepticum, four were inoculated with M. gallisepticum and four were sham inoculated in both eyes to serve as negative controls. Simultaneously we inoculated six house finches with the same isolate of M. gallisepticum as a positive control. All inoculated birds of both species developed infections detectable by qPCR in the conjunctiva. For the 6 weeks following inoculation we detected antibodies in all M. gallisepticum-inoculated house finches but in only three of the four M. gallisepticum-inoculated black-capped chickadees. All house finches developed severe eye lesions but none of the black-capped chickadees did. Modeling the Rapid Plate Agglutination test results of black-capped chickadees shows that the rate of false-positive tests would be not more than 3.2%, while the estimated rate of false negatives is 55%. We conclude that the proportion of wild-caught individuals in which we detect M. gallisepticum-specific antibodies using Rapid Plate Agglutination is, if

  15. Molecular phylogenetic relationship of snow finch complex (genera Montifringilla, Pyrgilauda, and Onychostruthus) from the Tibetan plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qu, Yanhua; Ericson, Per G P; Lei, Fumin; Gebauer, Axel; Kaiser, Martin; Helbig, Andreas J

    2006-07-01

    The snow finch complex (Montifringilla, Pyrgilauda, and Onychostruthus) has its center of distribution on the Tibetan plateau, with six out of seven species in the genera occurring there. Phylogenetic relationships among these six species of three genera have been studied based on DNA sequence data obtained from the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene and the nuclear myoglobin gene. The results support monophyly of the snow finch complex group and three major evolutionary lineages are recognized. The first clade consists of ruficollis, blanfordi, and davidiana. These three taxa are sometimes placed in their own genus, Pyrgilauda, and the DNA data supports this. The three taxa nivalis, henrici, and adamsi have traditionally been placed in the genus Montifringilla, and they group together strongly in the present analysis. The results further suggest that nivalis and adamsi are more closely related to each other than are nivalis and henrici, despite that the latter two are often regarded as conspecific. The third distinct lineage within the snow finch complex consists of taczanowskii, which has been placed its own genus, Onychostruthus. This taxon has a basal position in the phylogenetic tree and is sister to all other snow finches. We estimated that taczanowskii split from the other taxa between 2 and 2.5 mya, i.e., about the time for the most recent uplift of the Tibetan plateau, "the Tibet movement", 3.6-1.7 mya. Cladogenesis within the Montifringilla and Pyrgilauda clades seems to be contemporary with the second phase of "Tibet movement" at 2.5 mya and the third phase at 1.7 mya and "Kunhuang movement" in 1.5-0.6 mya. The dramatic climatic and ecological changes following from the uplift of the Tibetan plateau, together with the cyclic contraction and expansion of suitable habitats during the Pleistocene, are probably the most important factors for the cladogenesis in snow finch complex.

  16. Vocal mechanics in Darwin's finches: correlation of beak gape and song frequency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Podos, Jeffrey; Southall, Joel A; Rossi-Santos, Marcos R

    2004-02-01

    Recent studies of vocal mechanics in songbirds have identified a functional role for the beak in sound production. The vocal tract (trachea and beak) filters harmonic overtones from sounds produced by the syrinx, and birds can fine-tune vocal tract resonance properties through changes in beak gape. In this study, we examine patterns of beak gape during song production in seven species of Darwin's finches of the Galápagos Islands. Our principal goals were to characterize the relationship between beak gape and vocal frequency during song production and to explore the possible influence therein of diversity in beak morphology and body size. Birds were audio and video recorded (at 30 frames s(-1)) as they sang in the field, and 164 song sequences were analyzed. We found that song frequency regressed significantly and positively on beak gape for 38 of 56 individuals and for all seven species examined. This finding provides broad support for a resonance model of vocal tract function in Darwin's finches. Comparison among species revealed significant variation in regression y-intercept values. Body size correlated negatively with y-intercept values, although not at a statistically significant level. We failed to detect variation in regression slopes among finch species, although the regression slopes of Darwin's finch and two North American sparrow species were found to differ. Analysis within one species (Geospiza fortis) revealed significant inter-individual variation in regression parameters; these parameters did not correlate with song frequency features or plumage scores. Our results suggest that patterns of beak use during song production were conserved during the Darwin's finch adaptive radiation, despite the evolution of substantial variation in beak morphology and body size.

  17. Saprolegnia brachydanis, a new oomycete isolated from zebra fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ke, Xiaoli; Wang, Jianguo; Gu, Zemao; Li, Ming; Gong, Xiaoning

    2009-02-01

    Saprolegnia brachydanis is described from zebra fish (Brachydanio rerio) in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. The species is illustrated and compared with other species of the genus. The distinctive characteristics of S. brachydanis are the production of glomerulate oogonia wrapped around by predominantly monoclinous antheridia which can be up to eight in one oogonium. The oogonial stalks are short, straight, or curved and the antheridia, twisted, can enwind one or more oogonia. The oospores cannot mature or easily abort. Morphological features of the oomycete and the ITS sequence of its rDNA as well as the comparison with related species are discussed in this article.

  18. Factors Affecting Zebra Mussel Kill by the Bacterium Pseudomonas fluorescens

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Daniel P. Molloy

    2004-02-24

    The specific purpose of this research project was to identify factors that affect zebra mussel kill by the bacterium Pseudomonas fluorescens. Test results obtained during this three-year project identified the following key variables as affecting mussel kill: treatment concentration, treatment duration, mussel siphoning activity, dissolved oxygen concentration, water temperature, and naturally suspended particle load. Using this latter information, the project culminated in a series of pipe tests which achieved high mussel kill inside power plants under once-through conditions using service water in artificial pipes.

  19. Tracing the origin of a scientific legend by Reference Publication Year Spectroscopy (RPYS): the legend of the Darwin finches

    CERN Document Server

    Marx, Werner

    2013-01-01

    In a previews paper we introduced the quantitative method named Reference Publication Year Spectroscopy (RPYS). With this method one can determine the historical roots of research fields and quantify their impact on current research. RPYS is based on the analysis of the frequency with which references are cited in the publications of a specific research field in terms of the publication years of these cited references. In this study, we illustrate that RPYS can also be used to reveal the origin of scientific legends. We selected Darwin finches as an example for illustration. Charles Darwin, the originator of evolutionary theory, was given credit for finches he did not see and for observations and insights about the finches he never made. We have shown that a book published in 1947 is the most-highly cited early reference cited within the relevant literature. This book had already been revealed as the origin of the term Darwin finches by Sulloway through careful historical analysis.

  20. Structure and evolution of electron "zebra stripes" in the inner radiation belt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Y.; Zong, Q.-G.; Zhou, X.-Z.; Foster, J. C.; Rankin, R.

    2016-05-01

    "Zebra stripes" are newly found energetic electron energy-spatial (L shell) distributed structure with an energy between tens to a few hundreds keV in the inner radiation belt. Using high-quality measurements of electron fluxes from Radiation Belt Storm Probes Ion Composition Experiment (RBSPICE) on board the twin Van Allen Probes, we carry out case and statistical studies from April 2013 to April 2014 to study the structural and evolutionary characteristics of zebra stripes below L = 3. It is revealed that the zebra stripes can be transformed into evenly spaced patterns in the electron drift frequency coordinate: the detrended logarithmic fluxes in each L shell region can be well described by sinusoidal functions of drift frequency. The "wave number" of this sinusoidal function, which corresponds to the reciprocal of the gap between two adjacent peaks in the drift frequency coordinate, increases in proportion to real time. Further, these structural and evolutionary characteristics of zebra stripes can be reproduced by an analytic model of the evolution of the particle distribution under a single monochromatic or static azimuthal electric field. It is shown that the essential ingredient for the formation of multiple zebra stripes is the periodic drift of particles. The amplitude of the zebra stripes shows a good positive correlation with Kp index, which indicates that the generation mechanism of zebra stripes should be related to geomagnetic activities.

  1. Economic impacts of zebra mussels on drinking water treatment and electric power generation facilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connelly, Nancy A; O'Neill, Charles R; Knuth, Barbara A; Brown, Tommy L

    2007-07-01

    Invasions of nonnative species such as zebra mussels can have both ecological and economic consequences. The economic impacts of zebra mussels have not been examined in detail since the mid-1990s. The purpose of this study was to quantify the annual and cumulative economic impact of zebra mussels on surface water-dependent drinking water treatment and electric power generation facilities (where previous research indicated the greatest impacts). The study time frame was from the first full year after discovery in North America (Lake St. Clair, 1989) to the present (2004); the study area was throughout the mussels' North American range. A mail survey resulted in a response rate of 31% for electric power companies and 41% for drinking water treatment plants. Telephone interviews with a sample of nonrespondents assessed nonresponse bias; only one difference was found and adjusted for. Over one-third (37%) of surveyed facilities reported finding zebra mussels in the facility and almost half (45%) have initiated preventive measures to prevent zebra mussels from entering the facility operations. Almost all surveyed facilities (91%) with zebra mussels have used control or mitigation alternatives to remove or control zebra mussels. We estimated that 36% of surveyed facilities experienced an economic impact. Expanding the sample to the population of the study area, we estimated 267 million dollars (BCa 95% CI = 161 million dollars - 467 million dollars) in total economic costs for electric generation and water treatment facilities through late 2004, since 1989. Annual costs were greater (44,000 dollars/facility) during the early years of zebra mussel infestation than in recent years (30,000 dollars). As a result of this and other factors, early predictions of the ultimate costs of the zebra mussel invasion may have been excessive.

  2. Reproduction in the zebra mare Equus burchelli antiquorum from the Kruger National Park

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. L. Smuts

    1976-08-01

    Full Text Available Reproductive characteristics of Burchell's zebra mares are described using data collected from captive and free ranging animals and the reproductive tracts of 310 mares shot during a game cropping campaign. The pubertal interval in zebra mares ranges from age 16 to 22 months, succesful mating occurring for the first time at 23 months of age. Full reproductive capacity is attained at three years. Zebra mares are seasonally polyoestrous, with an average of 85 of all mating and foaling occurring during the wet summer months (October to March.

  3. Pathology and immunohistochemistry of papillomavirus-associated cutaneous lesions in Cape mountain zebra, giraffe, sable antelope and African buffalo in South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. H. Williams

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Skin lesions associated with papillomaviruses have been reported in many animal species and man. Bovine papillomavirus (BVP affects mainly the epidermis, but also the dermis in several species including bovine, the best-known example being equine sarcoid, which is associated with BVP types 1 and 2. This publication describes and illustrates the macroscopic and histological appearance of BPV-associated papillomatous, fibropapillomatous or sarcoid-like lesions in Cape mountain zebra (Equus zebra zebra from the Gariep Dam Nature Reserve, 2 giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis from the Kruger National Park, and a sable antelope (Hippotragus niger from the Kimberley area of South Africa. An African buffalo (Syncerus caffer cow from Kruger National Park also had papillomatous lesions but molecular characterisation of lesional virus was not done. Immunohistochemical staining using polyclonal rabbit antiserum to chemically disrupted BPV-1, which cross-reacts with the L1 capsid of most known papillomaviruses, was positive in cells of the stratum granulosum of lesions in Giraffe 1, the sable and the buffalo and negative in those of the zebra and Giraffe 2. Fibropapillomatous and sarcoid-like lesions from an adult bovine were used as positive control for the immunohistochemistry and are described and the immunohistochemistry illustrated for comparison. Macroscopically, both adult female giraffe had severely thickened multifocal to coalescing nodular and occasionally ulcerated lesions of the head, neck and trunk with local poorly-circumscribed invasion into the subcutis. Necropsy performed on the 2nd giraffe revealed neither internal metastases nor serious underlying disease. Giraffe 1 had scattered, and Giraffe 2 numerous, large, anaplastic, at times indistinctly multinucleated dermal fibroblasts with bizarre nuclei within the sarcoid-like lesions, which were BPV-1 positive in Giraffe 1 and BPV-1 and -2 positive in Giraffe 2 by RT-PCR. The sable antelope

  4. Migratory herds of wildebeests and zebras indirectly affect calf survival of giraffes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Derek E; Kissui, Bernard M; Kiwango, Yustina A; Bond, Monica L

    2016-12-01

    In long-distance migratory systems, local fluctuations in the predator-prey ratio can exhibit extreme variability within a single year depending upon the seasonal location of migratory species. Such systems offer an opportunity to empirically investigate cyclic population density effects on short-term food web interactions by taking advantage of the large seasonal shifts in migratory prey biomass.We utilized a large-mammal predator-prey savanna food web to evaluate support for hypotheses relating to the indirect effects of "apparent competition" and "apparent mutualism" from migratory ungulate herds on survival of resident megaherbivore calves, mediated by their shared predator. African lions (Panthera leo) are generalist predators whose primary, preferred prey are wildebeests (Connochaetes taurinus) and zebras (Equus quagga), while lion predation on secondary prey such as giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis) may change according to the relative abundance of the primary prey species.We used demographic data from five subpopulations of giraffes in the Tarangire Ecosystem of Tanzania, East Africa, to test hypotheses relating to direct predation and indirect effects of large migratory herds on calf survival of a resident megaherbivore. We examined neonatal survival via apparent reproduction of 860 adult females, and calf survival of 449 giraffe calves, during three precipitation seasons over 3 years, seeking evidence of some effect on neonate and calf survival as a consequence of the movements of large herds of migratory ungulates.We found that local lion predation pressure (lion density divided by primary prey density) was significantly negatively correlated with giraffe neonatal and calf survival probabilities. This supports the apparent mutualism hypothesis that the presence of migratory ungulates reduces lion predation on giraffe calves.Natural predation had a significant effect on giraffe calf and neonate survival, and could significantly affect giraffe population

  5. Microlichus americanus acariasis in saffron finches (Sicalis flaveola) with dermatitis and feather loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rettenmund, Christy L; Ossiboff, Robert J; McAloose, Denise; Knee, Wayne; Wade, Susan E; Paré, Jean A

    2015-05-01

    Over a 5-year period, 13 saffron finches (Sicalis flaveola) housed in mixed aviaries at the Bronx Zoo (Bronx, New York) were examined with feather loss and dermatitis, primarily affecting the nape, neck, and dorsum. Feather loss, hyperkeratosis, epidermal hyperplasia, and mixed granulocytic and mononuclear inflammation were identified in biopsies from live birds and tissue sections from postmortem specimens. In 10 of 13 cases, sections of arthropod parasites were seen histologically within feather follicles and along the surface of affected skin. Based on morphological characteristics, mites recovered from samples of formalin-fixed skin in 4 birds were identified as Microlichus americanus, an epidermoptid mite infrequently reported from wild birds and hippoboscid flies. Gross and histological lesions strongly implicate M. americanus as the cause of dermatitis affecting practically all saffron finches in the collection.

  6. Additions and amendments to the bird and mammal lists of the Mountain Zebra National Park

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. H Grobler

    1981-01-01

    Full Text Available The following account updates and amends various previous publications dealing with the birds and mammals of the Mountain Zebra National Park (MZNP. In the case of birds, Roberts' Birds of South Africa numbers are used.

  7. Rules of conduct for pedestrians and motorists on or near zebra crossings.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kraay, J.H.

    1971-01-01

    The different legislations concerning pedestrians on zebra crossings from Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, England, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the U.S.A. and from the United Nations are summarized.

  8. Annotated Check List of the Spiders (Araneae) of the Mountain Zebra National Park

    OpenAIRE

    Anna S. Dippenaar-Schoeman

    1988-01-01

    A preliminary check list of the spider fauna of the Mountain Zebra National Park is given. Sixteen families, comprising 29 genera and 32 species, are recorded. Observations on the distribution, diagnostic morphology and behaviour of 15 species are given.

  9. New insights into the mechanism of lens development using zebra fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greiling, Teri M S; Clark, John I

    2012-01-01

    On the basis of recent advances in molecular biology, genetics, and live-embryo imaging, direct comparisons between zebra fish and human lens development are being made. The zebra fish has numerous experimental advantages for investigation of fundamental biomedical problems that are often best studied in the lens. The physical characteristics of visible light can account for the highly coordinated cell differentiation during formation of a beautifully transparent, refractile, symmetric optical element, the biological lens. The accessibility of the zebra fish lens for direct investigation during rapid development will result in new knowledge about basic functional mechanisms of epithelia-mesenchymal transitions, cell fate, cell-matrix interactions, cytoskeletal interactions, cytoplasmic crowding, membrane transport, cell adhesion, cell signaling, and metabolic specialization. The lens is well known as a model for characterization of cell and molecular aging. We review the recent advances in understanding vertebrate lens development conducted with zebra fish.

  10. Recognition and Reconstruction of Zebra Crossings on Roads from Mobile Laser Scanning Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lin Li

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Zebra crossings provide guidance and warning to pedestrians and drivers, thereby playing an important role in traffic safety management. Most previous studies have focused on detecting zebra stripes but have not provided full information about the areas, which is critical to both driver assistance systems and guide systems for blind individuals. This paper presents a stepwise procedure for recognizing and reconstructing zebra crossings using mobile laser scanning data. First, we propose adaptive thresholding based on road surface partitioning to reduce the impact of intensity unevenness and improve the accuracy of road marking extraction. Then, dispersion degree filtering is used to reduce the noise. Finally, zebra stripes are recognized according to the rectangular feature and fixed size, which is followed by area reconstruction according to arrangement patterns. We test our method on three datasets captured by an Optech Lynx mobile mapping system. The total recognition rate of 90.91% demonstrates the effectiveness of the method.

  11. Putative clinical piroplasmosis in a Burchell's zebra (Equus quagga burchelli : clinical communication

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Lampen

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available A 10-year-old tame zebra gelding was presented after suffering from lethargy, nervousness, reported anaemia and icterus as well as a decreased appetite. These symptoms were seen over some months, with changing severity. The animal was immobilised, treated, and blood specimens were submitted for haematology and biochemistry. This report describes molecular characterisation of Theileria equi recovered from this animal, as well as the clinical findings, treatment and historical relevance of piroplasmosis in zebra in southern Africa.

  12. Zebra fish myc family and max genes: differential expression and oncogenic activity throughout vertebrate evolution.

    OpenAIRE

    Schreiber-Agus, N; Horner, J.; Torres, R.; Chiu, F C; Depinho, R.A.

    1993-01-01

    To gain insight into the role of Myc family oncoproteins and their associated protein Max in vertebrate growth and development, we sought to identify homologs in the zebra fish (Brachydanio rerio). A combination of a polymerase chain reaction-based cloning strategy and low-stringency hybridization screening allowed for the isolation of zebra fish c-, N-, and L-myc and max genes; subsequent structural characterization showed a high degree of conservation in regions that encode motifs of known ...

  13. Discovery of a new avian bornavirus genotype in estrildid finches (Estrildidae) in Germany.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubbenstroth, Dennis; Schmidt, Volker; Rinder, Monika; Legler, Marko; Corman, Victor Max; Staeheli, Peter

    2014-01-31

    Avian bornaviruses (ABV) are known to be the causative agent of proventricular dilatation disease (PDD) in parrots and their relatives (Psittaciformes). A broad range of ABV genotypes has been detected not only in psittacine birds, but also in other avian species including canary birds (Serinus canaria forma domestica) and Bengalese finches (Lonchura striata f. dom.), which are both members of the order songbirds (Passeriformes). During this study 286 samples collected from captive and wild birds of various passerine species in different parts of Germany were screened for the presence of ABV. Interestingly, only three ABV-positive samples were identified by RT-PCR. They originated from one yellow-winged pytilia (Pytilia hypogrammica) and two black-rumped waxbills (Estrilda troglodytes) from a flock of captive estrildid finches in Saxony. The ABV isolates detected here were only distantly related to ABV isolates found in passerine species in Germany and Japan and form a new genotype tentatively called ABV-EF (for "estrildid finches"). Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Effect of acute stresses on zebra fish (Danio rerio) metabolome measured by NMR-based metabolomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mushtaq, Mian Yahya; Marçal, Rosilene Moretti; Champagne, Danielle L; van der Kooy, Frank; Verpoorte, Robert; Choi, Young Hae

    2014-09-01

    We applied an acute stress model to zebra fish in order to measure the changes in the metabolome due to biological stress. This was done by submitting the fish to fifteen minutes of acute confinement (netting) stress, and then five minutes for the open field and light/dark field tests. A polar extract of the zebra fish was then subjected to (1)H nuclear magnetic spectroscopy. Multivariate data analysis of the spectra showed a clear separation associated to a wide range of metabolites between zebra fish that were submitted to open field and light/dark field tests. Alanine, taurine, adenosine, creatine, lactate, and histidine were high in zebra fish to which the light/dark field test was applied, regardless of stress, while acetate and isoleucine/lipids appeared to be higher in zebra fish exposed to the open field test. These results show that any change in the environment, even for a small period of time, has a noticeable physiological impact. This research provides an insight of how different mechanisms are activated under different environments to maintain the homeostasis of the body. It should also contribute to establish zebra fish as a model for metabolomics studies.

  15. Zebra mussel adhesion: structure of the byssal adhesive apparatus in the freshwater mussel, Dreissena polymorpha.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farsad, Nikrooz; Sone, Eli D

    2012-03-01

    The freshwater zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) owes a large part of its success as an invasive species to its ability to attach to a wide variety of substrates. As in marine mussels, this attachment is achieved by a proteinaceous byssus, a series of threads joined at a stem that connect the mussel to adhesive plaques secreted onto the substrate. Although the zebra mussel byssus is superficially similar to marine mussels, significant structural and compositional differences suggest that further investigation of the adhesion mechanisms in this freshwater species is warranted. Here we present an ultrastructural examination of the zebra mussel byssus, with emphasis on interfaces that are critical to its adhesive function. By examining the attached plaques, we show that adhesion is mediated by a uniform electron dense layer on the underside of the plaque. This layer is only 10-20 nm thick and makes direct and continuous contact with the substrate. The plaque itself is fibrous, and curiously can exhibit either a dense or porous morphology. In zebra mussels, a graded interface between the animal and the substrate mussels is achieved by interdigitation of uniform threads with the stem, in contrast to marine mussels, where the threads themselves are non-uniform. Our observations of several novel aspects of zebra mussel byssal ultrastructure may have important implications not only for preventing biofouling by the zebra mussel, but for the development of new bioadhesives as well.

  16. Ultrastructural and Histochemical Characterization of the Zebra Mussel Adhesive Apparatus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farsad, Nikrooz

    Since their accidental introduction into the Great Lakes in mid- to late-1980s, the freshwater zebra mussels, Dreissena polymorpha, have colonized most lakes and waterways across eastern North America. Their rapid spread is partly attributed to their ability to tenaciously attach to hard substrates via an adhesive apparatus called the byssus, resulting in serious environmental and economic impacts. A detailed ultrastructural study of the byssus revealed a 10 nm adhesive layer at the attachment interface. Distributions of the main adhesive amino acid, 3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA), and its oxidizing (cross-linking) enzyme, catechol oxidase, were determined histochemically. It was found that, upon aging, DOPA levels remained high in the portion of the byssus closest to the interface, consistent with an adhesive role. In contrast, reduced levels of DOPA corresponded well with high levels of catechol oxidase in the load-bearing component of the byssus, presumably forming cross-links and increasing the cohesive strength.

  17. Efficacy of Pseudomonas fluorescens (Pf-CL145A) spray dried powder for controlling zebra mussels adhering to test substrates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luoma, James A.; Severson, Todd J.; Weber, Kerry L.; Mayer, Denise A.

    2015-01-01

    A mobile bioassay trailer was used to assess the efficacy of Pseudomonas fluorescens (Pf-CL145A) spray dried powder (SDP) formulation for controlling zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) from two midwestern lakes: Lake Carlos (Alexandria, Minnesota) and Shawano Lake (Shawano, Wisconsin). The effects of SDP exposure concentration and exposure duration on zebra mussel survival were evaluated along with the evaluation of a benthic injection application technique to reduce the amount of SDP required to induce zebra mortality.

  18. Recent results of zebra patterns in solar radio bursts

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Gennady P.Chernov

    2010-01-01

    This review covers the most recent experimental results and theoretical research on zebra patterns(ZPs)in solar radio bursts.The basic attention is given to events with new peculiar elements of zebra patterns received over the last few years.All new properties are considered in light of both what was known earlier and new theoretical models.Large-scale ZPs consisting of small-scale fiber bursts could be explained by simultaneous inclusion of two mechanisms when whistler waves"highlight"the levels of double plasma resonance(DPR).A unique fine structure was observed in the event on 2006 December 13: spikes in absorption formed dark ZP stripes against the absorptive type Ⅲ-like bursts.The spikes in absorption can appear in accordance with well known mechanisms of absorptive bursts.The additional injection of fast particles filled the loss-cone(breaking the loss-cone distribution),and the generation of the continuum was quenched at these moments.The maximum absorptive effect occurs at the DPR levels.The parameters of millisecond spikes are determined by small dimensions of the particle beams and local scale heights in the radio source.Thus,the DPR model helps to understand several aspects of unusual elements of ZPs.However,the simultaneous existence of several tens of the DPR levels in the corona is impossible for any realistic profile of the plasma density and magnetic field.Three new theories of ZPs are examined.The formation of eigenmodes of transparency and opacity during the propagation of radio waves through regular coronal inhomogeneities is the most natural and promising mechanism.Two other models(nonlinear periodic space-charge waves and scattering of fast protons on ion-sound harmonics)could happen in large radio bursts.

  19. A subset of replication proteins enhances origin recognition and lytic replication by the Epstein-Barr virus ZEBRA protein.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ayman El-Guindy

    Full Text Available ZEBRA is a site-specific DNA binding protein that functions as a transcriptional activator and as an origin binding protein. Both activities require that ZEBRA recognizes DNA motifs that are scattered along the viral genome. The mechanism by which ZEBRA discriminates between the origin of lytic replication and promoters of EBV early genes is not well understood. We explored the hypothesis that activation of replication requires stronger association between ZEBRA and DNA than does transcription. A ZEBRA mutant, Z(S173A, at a phosphorylation site and three point mutants in the DNA recognition domain of ZEBRA, namely Z(Y180E, Z(R187K and Z(K188A, were similarly deficient at activating lytic DNA replication and expression of late gene expression but were competent to activate transcription of viral early lytic genes. These mutants all exhibited reduced capacity to interact with DNA as assessed by EMSA, ChIP and an in vivo biotinylated DNA pull-down assay. Over-expression of three virally encoded replication proteins, namely the primase (BSLF1, the single-stranded DNA-binding protein (BALF2 and the DNA polymerase processivity factor (BMRF1, partially rescued the replication defect in these mutants and enhanced ZEBRA's interaction with oriLyt. The findings demonstrate a functional role of replication proteins in stabilizing the association of ZEBRA with viral DNA. Enhanced binding of ZEBRA to oriLyt is crucial for lytic viral DNA replication.

  20. Neural expression and post-transcriptional dosage compensation of the steroid metabolic enzyme 17 beta-HSD type 4

    OpenAIRE

    London, Sarah E.; Itoh, Yuichiro; Lance, Valentin A; Wise, Petra M; Ekanayake, Preethika S; Oyama, Randi K.; Arnold, Arthur P.; Schlinger, Barney A.

    2010-01-01

    Abstract Background Steroids affect many tissues, including the brain. In the zebra finch, the estrogenic steroid estradiol (E2) is especially effective at promoting growth of the neural circuit specialized for song. In this species, only the males sing and they have a much larger and more interconnected song circuit than females. Thus, it was surprising that the gene for 17β-hydr...

  1. House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) Conjunctivitis, and Mycoplasma spp. Isolated from North American Wild Birds, 1994-2015.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ley, David H; Hawley, Dana M; Geary, Steven J; Dhondt, André A

    2016-07-01

    Sampling wild birds for mycoplasma culture has been key to the study of House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) conjunctivitis, yielding isolates of Mycoplasma gallisepticum spanning the temporal and geographic ranges of disease from emergence to endemicity. Faced with the challenges and costs of sample collection over time and from remote locations for submission to our laboratory for mycoplasma culture, protocols evolved to achieve a practical optimum. Herein we report making M. gallisepticum isolates from House Finches almost every year since the disease emerged in 1994, and we now have 227 isolates from 17 states. Our wild bird host range for M. gallisepticum isolates includes Blue Jay ( Cyanocitta cristata ), American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis), Lesser Goldfinch (Spinus psaltria), Purple Finch (Haemorhous purpureus), Evening Grosbeak ( Coccothraustes vespertinus ), and herein first reports for Western Scrub-jay ( Aphelocoma californica ), and American Crow ( Corvus brachyrhynchos ). By collecting and identifying isolates from birds with clinical signs similar to those of House Finch conjunctivitis, we also expanded the known host range of Mycoplasma sturni and obtained isolates from additional wild bird species. Accumulating evidence shows that a diverse range of wild bird species may carry or have been exposed to M. gallisepticum in the US, as in Europe and Asia. Therefore, the emergence of a pathogenic M. gallisepticum strain in House Finches may actually be the exception that has allowed us to identify the broader epidemiologic picture.

  2. Group dynamics of zebra and wildebeest in a woodland savanna: effects of predation risk and habitat density.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Thaker

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Group dynamics of gregarious ungulates in the grasslands of the African savanna have been well studied, but the trade-offs that affect grouping of these ungulates in woodland habitats or dense vegetation are less well understood. We examined the landscape-level distribution of groups of blue wildebeest, Connochaetes taurinus, and Burchell's zebra, Equus burchelli, in a predominantly woodland area (Karongwe Game Reserve, South Africa; KGR to test the hypothesis that group dynamics are a function of minimizing predation risk from their primary predator, lion, Panthera leo. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Using generalized linear models, we examined the relative importance of habitat type (differing in vegetation density, probability of encountering lion (based on utilization distribution of all individual lions in the reserve, and season in predicting group size and composition. We found that only in open scrub habitat, group size for both ungulate species increased with the probability of encountering lion. Group composition differed between the two species and was driven by habitat selection as well as predation risk. For both species, composition of groups was, however, dominated by males in open scrub habitats, irrespective of the probability of encountering lion. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Distribution patterns of wildebeest and zebra groups at the landscape level directly support the theoretical and empirical evidence from a range of taxa predicting that grouping is favored in open habitats and when predation risk is high. Group composition reflected species-specific social, physiological and foraging constraints, as well as the importance of predation risk. Avoidance of high resource open scrub habitat by females can lead to loss of foraging opportunities, which can be particularly costly in areas such as KGR, where this resource is limited. Thus, landscape-level grouping dynamics are species specific and particular to the

  3. 铅对斑马鱼生殖系统毒性作用研究%Toxic Effect of Lead on Reproductive System in Zebra Fish

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    豆长明; 王晓辉; 谢贤政; 周鸣鸣; 张洁

    2012-01-01

    [Objective] To evaluate the toxic effect of lead on the reproductive system of mature zebra fish. [Method] Healthy adult zebra fish aged three months were randomly divided into one control group and three experimental groups. Twenty zebra fish in each group were treated with lead acetate solution at the dose of 0,0.4,0.8 and 1.6 mg/L for seven consecutive days. The zebra fish was sacrificed for the measurement of the sperm density,sperm volume and fecundity. [Result] The eggs counts produced by female zebra fish in 0.4 and 0.8 mg/L groups were both decreased significantly compared with the control group (P < 0. 05). 1.6 mg/L groups did not produce any eggs at all. With the increase of lead concentration, a decreasing trend in sperm counts was observed. There were no statistical significances in sperm density between the experiment and the control groups; the sperm volume of 0.4,0. 8 and 1.6 mg/L groups were all decreased significantly compared with the control group ( P < 0.05). With the lead administration dose increasing,a downtrend in the sperm volume was observed. The experiment of male and female replacement trials in seven days led to the same result. [ Conclusion ] Lead exposure can induce reproductive toxicity to mature zebra fish.%[目的]研究Pb对斑马鱼生殖系统的毒性作用.[方法]将成年斑马鱼(3月龄)随机分为4组,分别为对照(蒸馏水)组和低(0.4mg/L)、中(0.8 mg/L)、高(1.6 mg/L)剂量PbAc染毒组,每组20条,连续染毒7d.染毒结束后,测定雌性斑马鱼产卵数和雄性斑马鱼产精子体积以及精子密度.[结果]与对照组相比,0.4和0.8 mg/L Pb染毒组斑马鱼产卵数较低,差异均有统计学意义(P<0.05);1.6mg/L Pb染毒组斑马鱼已不产卵.随着染毒剂量的增高,斑马鱼产卵数呈减少趋势.各Pb染毒组雄性斑马鱼精子密度与对照组比较,差异均无统计学意义.与对照组比较,0.4、0.8和1.6 mg/L Pb染毒组雄性斑马鱼精子体积均较

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Smolik, N.; Rusznak, L.; Anderson, J.; Hale, L. [Ashland Chemical Coman, Drew Division, Booton, NJ (United States)

    1995-06-01

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

  5. How well can fishes prey on zebra mussels in eastern North America?

    Science.gov (United States)

    French, John R. P.

    1993-01-01

    Literature on mollusk-eating fishes was reviewed to determine the potential for different species of fish to control zebra mussels in eastern North America. At least six species are potential predators of zebra mussels because they possess (1) both upper and lower pharyngeal teeth or (2) lower pharyngeal teeth and chewing pads located on the dorsal roof for crushing mollusk shells. Freshwater drum (Aplodinotus grunniens) and two centrarchids, redear sunfish (Lepomis microlophus) and pumpkinseed (L. gibbosus), possess both upper and lower pharyngeal teeth and are likely to consume more zebra mussels than fishes with only lower pharyngeal teeth. Only two catostomid species, copper and river redhorses (Moxostoma hubbsi and M. carinatum), have chewing pads that enable them to crush mollusks. The exotic omnivorous common carp (Cyprinus carpio), possessing lower teeth and a chewing pad, may prey on zebra mussels when aquatic insect larvae, its preferred food, become rare. Managing populations of drum, sunfishes and redhorses to reduce exploitation of large individuals and improve their habitats are suggested as means to intensify biological control of zebra mussels in eastern North America. Other Eurasian molluscivores, the roach (Rutilus rutilus) and the black carp (Mylopharyngodon piceus) should not be introduced into North America because research has shown repeatedly that an introduced biological controller usually does not forage for unwanted pests or reside only in preferred habitats of pests. Drum, sunfishes and redhorses should be preferred over these exotics as biological controllers of zebra mussels in North America because these native fishes will likely occupy newly established habitats of zebra mussels.

  6. Trophic interference by Salmo trutta on Aplochiton zebra and Aplochiton taeniatus in southern Patagonian lakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elgueta, A; González, J; Ruzzante, D E; Walde, S J; Habit, E

    2013-02-01

    The length and mass ratio, diet and isotopic composition of Aplochiton zebra and Aplochiton taeniatus inhabiting a Salmo trutta-invaded and a S. trutta-free lake in southern Patagonia were compared. Results indicate that S. trutta exercises important trophic interference over A. zebra and A. taeniatus, causing changes in their dietary composition by reducing the consumption of winged Diptera through changes in feeding behaviours that involve jumping out of the water. This effect is significantly higher in A. zebra than in A. taeniatus a species that has a highly specialized diet. The dietary changes of A. zebra and A. taeniatus in sympatry with S. trutta lead to an impoverishment of their isotopic nitrogen signals (δ(15)N), suggesting a reduction of their trophic position. In the case of A. zebra, this translates into a significant decrease in its body condition factor. Such interference could lead to a population decline of this species and would explain the current distribution range decline and allopatry with S. trutta in fluvial systems.

  7. Cloning and characterization of zebra fish SPATA4 gene and analysis of its gonad specific expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Shangfeng; Liu, Bowen; He, Shan; Zhao, Ying; Wang, Zhao

    2005-06-01

    The spermatogenesis associated 4 gene (SPATA4, previously named TSARG2) was first cloned in human tissues and was reported to be a candidate spermatocyte apoptosis-related gene that is expressed specifically in testis. Analysis of SPATA4 expression and regulation in zebra fish may provide insight into the understanding of the complicated process of gonadogenesis. In this study, we cloned and characterized the SPATA4 gene from zebra fish (Danio rerio), which is homologous to human and mouse SPATA4. Zebra fish SPATA4 consists of six exons separated by five introns, as all SPATA4 genes in vertebrates. A promoter region was predicted using homologous blast and cloned for further study, and possible transcription factors were analyzed in this region. The putative protein encoded by this gene was analyzed using bioinformatics methods. Multi-tissue RT-PCR results demonstrated that the zebra fish SPATA4 gene is expressed specifically in testis and slightly in ovary. Analysis of the SPATA4 sequence and its spatial expression pattern indicate that this gene is highly conserved and may play an important role in the process of zebra fish gonadogenesis.

  8. Novel proteins identified in the insoluble byssal matrix of the freshwater zebra mussel.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gantayet, Arpita; Rees, David J; Sone, Eli D

    2014-04-01

    The freshwater zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha, is an invasive, biofouling species that adheres to a variety of substrates underwater, using a proteinaceous anchor called the byssus. The byssus consists of a number of threads with adhesive plaques at the tips. It contains the unusual amino acid 3, 4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA), which is believed to play an important role in adhesion, in addition to providing structural integrity to the byssus through cross-linking. Extensive DOPA cross-linking, however, renders the zebra mussel byssus highly resistant to protein extraction, and therefore limits byssal protein identification. We report here on the identification of seven novel byssal proteins in the insoluble byssal matrix following protein extraction from induced, freshly secreted byssal threads with minimal cross-linking. These proteins were identified by LC-MS/MS analysis of tryptic digests of the matrix proteins by spectrum matching against a zebra mussel cDNA library of genes unique to the mussel foot, the organ that secretes the byssus. All seven proteins were present in both the plaque and thread. Comparisons of the protein sequences revealed common features of zebra mussel byssal proteins, and several recurring sequence motifs. Although their sequences are unique, many of the proteins display similarities to marine mussel byssal proteins, as well as to adhesive and structural proteins from other species. The large expansion of the byssal proteome reported here represents an important step towards understanding zebra mussel adhesion.

  9. A new SWL titanium stent (Zebra Stent): resistance to shockwave exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchholz, Noor N P; Cannaby, Clive; Fong, Ruby; Gray, Andrew; Andrews, Henry O; Birch, Malcolm J

    2005-06-01

    Recently, a new-concept lumen-less Teflon-coated double-J wire stent (Zebra stent) has been introduced to facilitate residual stone clearance, in particular after SWL. Its metal core expresses highly mismatched acoustic impedance. It was the aim of this study to exclude damage to the stent through shockwaves. Also, its Teflon coating should to some degree prevent encrustation, and stents removed from stone formers were examined for encrustation. Series of 2000 shockwaves of an average and a maximum energy were applied to defined areas of Zebra stents in a waterbath on a Siemens Multiline Lithotriptor. Stents were then examined for core and sheath damage by digital photography, scanning electron microscopy, and microradiography. In addition, two Zebra stents and one conventional double-J stent from two stone formers were assessed in the same way for damage and encrustation. There was no damage whatsoever to either of the stents. Whereas there was considerable encrustation on the conventional double-J stent, there was none on the Zebra stents after 4 and 5 weeks in situ. Zebra stents resist shockwaves to a maximum number and energy sufficiently to be applied safely under SWL. Whether they resist encrustation to a higher degree in the short term than conventional stents remains to be established.

  10. Grazing on colonial and filamentous, toxic and non-toxic cyanobacteria by the zebra mussel Dreissena polymorpha

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pires, L.M.D.; Bontes, B.M.; Van Donk, E.; Ibelings, B.W.

    2005-01-01

    Colony forming and toxic cyanobacteria form a problem in surface waters of shallow lakes, both for recreation and wildlife. Zebra mussels, Dreissena polymorpha, have been employed to help to restore shallow lakes in the Netherlands, dominated by cyanobacteria, to their former clear state. Zebra muss

  11. Selective grazing by adults and larvae of the zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha): application of flow cytometry to natural seston

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pires, L.M.D.; Jonker, R.R.; Donk, E. van; Laanbroek, H.J.

    2004-01-01

    1. Selective grazing of adults and larvae of the zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) on phytoplankton and detritus from both laboratory cultures and natural seston was quantified using flow cytometry. 2. Mean clearance rate of adult zebra mussels was higher on a mixture of the green alga Scenedesmus

  12. LETHALITY OF PSEUDOMONAS FLUORESCENS STRAIN CLO145A TO THE 2 ZEBRA MUSSEL SPECIES PRESENT IN NORTH AMERICA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Daniel P. Molloy

    2001-10-28

    These experiments indicated that bacterial strain CL0145A of Pseudomonas fluorescens is equally lethal to the 2 zebra mussel species present in North America, Dreissena polymorpha and Dreissena bugensis. Thus, this bacterial strain should be equally effective at killing zebra mussels in power plant pipes, irrespective of which species is present.

  13. Modeling the Role of Zebra Mussels in the Proliferation of Blue-green Algae in Saginaw Bay, Lake Huron

    Science.gov (United States)

    Under model assumptions from Saginaw Bay 1991, selective rejection of blue-green algae by zebra mussels appears to be a necessary factor in the enhancement of blue-green algae production in the presence of zebra mussels. Enhancement also appears to depend on the increased sedime...

  14. Zebra Delivers EPC Gen 2 RFID Printing/Encoding With Industry’s First Free,Downloadable Firmware Upgrade

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2006-01-01

    Companies can add Gen2 support on existing Zebra RFID printer/encoders while continuing to use Gen 1 and other protocols: no new hardware required. Vernon Hills,Ⅲ., December 14,2005-Zebra Technologies (Nasdaq:ZBRA),a leading manufacturer of radio frequency identification (RFID) printer/encoders worldwide, today

  15. Experimental evidence for millisecond activation timescales using the Fast IN Chamber (FINCH) measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bundke, U.; Jaenicke, R.; Klein, H.; Nillius, B.; Reimann, B.; Wetter, T.; Bingemer, H.

    2009-04-01

    Ice formation in clouds is a subject of great practical and fundamental importance since the occurrence of ice particle initializes dramatic changes in the microphysical structure of the cloud, which finally ends in the formation of precipitation. The initially step of ice formation is largely unknown. Homogenous nucleation of ice occurs only below -40 °C. If an ice nucleus (IN) is present, heterogeneous nucleation may occur at higher temperature. Here deposition freezing, condensation and immersion freezing as well as contact freezing are known. Also growth rates of ice particles are known as function of crystal surface properties, temperature and super saturation. Timescales for homogenous freezing activation in the order of 0.01 seconds and nucleation rates have been measured by Anderson et al. (1980) and Hagen et al., (1981) using their expansion cloud chamber. This contribution of deposition mode freezing measurements by the ice nucleus counter FINCH presents evidence that the activation timescale of this freezing mode is in the order of 1E-3 seconds. FINCH is an Ice Nucleus counter which activates IN in a supersaturated environment at freezing temperatures. The activation conditions are actively controlled by mixing three gas flows (aerosol, particle-free cold-dry and warm-humid flows).See Bundke et al. 2008 for details. In a special operation mode of FINCH we are able to produce a controlled peak super saturation in the order of 1 ms duration. For several test aerosols the results observed in this particular mode are comparable to normal mode operations, where the maximum super saturation remains for more than a second, thus leading to the conclusion that the time for activation is in the order of 1ms or less. References: R.J. Anderson et al, "A Study of Homogeneous Condensation Freezing Nucleation of Small Water Droplets in an Expansion Cloud Chamber, Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, Vol. 37, 2508-2520, 1980 U.Bundke et al., "The fast Ice Nucleus

  16. Ontogenesis of agonistic vocalizations in the cichlid fish Metriaclima zebra.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertucci, Frédéric; Scaion, Delphine; Beauchaud, Marilyn; Attia, Joël; Mathevon, Nicolas

    2012-08-01

    While acoustic communication has been described in adults of various fish species, our knowledge about the ontogeny of fish sound production is limited. In adults, sound signals are known to be involved during aggressive interactions. However, aggressive behaviour may appear early in the life of fishes due to the possible competition for food and space. If acoustic signals are used to send information to competitors, sounds are likely to play a role during interactions between juvenile fish as well. The apparition and evolution of sound production were monitored in a group of juveniles of the cichlid fish Metriaclima zebra from hatching to 4 months of age. In addition, the link between vocalizations and agonistic behaviour was studied during dyadic interactions at three different ages. Sounds production appeared to be present early in the development of this fish and increased along with the number of aggressive behaviours. Recorded sounds consisted, in juveniles, in isolated pulses showing a decrease in frequency and duration as the fish grew. In adults, sounds became bursts of pulses but the transition from isolated to repetitive pulses was not observed. These results are compared to the existing literature on sound production ontogeny in fishes.

  17. Scope of problem assessed at IVO. The zebra mussel`s campaign of world conquest

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Silvonen, J.; Oesch, P. [ed.

    1998-07-01

    The migrating shell - or `zebra mussel` as it is called on account of its black and white stripes - was originally a fresh-water mussel, but has since also adapted to brackish waters. As a result of human activity the species has spread quickly and widely from its native habitat. Operators of power plants and water treatment plants in particular have not been very happy about this. During its larval stage the zebra mussel can enter the cooling water systems; fasten itself to the pipes and - in the worst case - clog the system. The Environmental Protection Division of IVO has been assessing the spread of the zebra mussel and the resulting problems with the aid of reference literature and the assistance of Finnish researchers

  18. Home range sizes for burchell's zebra equus burchelli antiquorum from the Kruger National Park

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G.L. Smuts

    1975-07-01

    Full Text Available Annual home range sizes were determined for 49 marked zebra family groups in the Kruger National Park. Sizes varied from 49 to 566 sq. km, the mean for the Park being 164 square kilometre. Mean home range sizes for different zebra sub-populations and biotic areas were found to differ considerably. Present herbivore densities have not influenced intra- and inter-specific tolerance levels to the extent that home range sizes have increased. Local habitat conditions, and particularly seasonal vegetational changes, were found to have the most profound influence on the shape and mean size of home ranges. The large home range sizes obtained in the Kruger Park, when compared to an area such as the Ngorongoro Crater, can be ascribed to a lower carrying capacity with respect to zebra, large portions of the habitat being sub-optimal, either seasonally or annually.

  19. The transparent lens and cornea in the mouse and zebra fish eye.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greiling, Teri M S; Clark, John I

    2008-04-01

    The lens and cornea combine to form a single optical element in which transparency and refraction are the fundamental biophysical characteristics required for a functional visual system. Although lens and cornea have different cellular and extracellular specializations that contribute to transparency and refraction, their development is closely related. In the embryonic mouse, the developing cornea and lens separate early. In contrast, zebra fish lens and cornea remain connected during early development and the optical properties of the cornea and lens observed by slit lamp and quasielastic laser light scattering spectroscopy (QLS) are more similar in the zebra fish eye than in the mouse eye. Optical similarities between cornea and lens of zebra fish may be the result of similarities in the cellular development of the cornea and lens.

  20. STUDY REGARDING THE LIGHT INFLUENCES ON EMBRYO DEVELOPMENT IN ZEBRA FISH (Danio rerio

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MIHAELA BĂDILIŢĂ

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this paper is to emphasize the main aspects of the ways in which lightinfluences the development of zebra fish (Danio rerio embryos.During the experiments 3 variants with natural light, continuous light and totally darkwere used to monitor the development of zebra fish embryos in 40 ml Nunk culturedishes at optimum density (1 embryo/ 3 ml and at 28,5oC temperature.It could be noticed that most embryos died in continuous light medium (57%. Thismeans that such mediums are not suitable to embryos’ development. For the controlvariant (natural light it was recorded the lowest mortality rate of only 17% and intotally dark variant the mortality was of 40%.Researches on the influence of light on zebra fish embryo development showed that themost suited medium for supporting, growing and developing the Danio rerio embryosit the medium having natural light.

  1. ZebraZoom: an automated program for high-throughput behavioral analysis and categorization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mirat, Olivier; Sternberg, Jenna R; Severi, Kristen E; Wyart, Claire

    2013-01-01

    The zebrafish larva stands out as an emergent model organism for translational studies involving gene or drug screening thanks to its size, genetics, and permeability. At the larval stage, locomotion occurs in short episodes punctuated by periods of rest. Although phenotyping behavior is a key component of large-scale screens, it has not yet been automated in this model system. We developed ZebraZoom, a program to automatically track larvae and identify maneuvers for many animals performing discrete movements. Our program detects each episodic movement and extracts large-scale statistics on motor patterns to produce a quantification of the locomotor repertoire. We used ZebraZoom to identify motor defects induced by a glycinergic receptor antagonist. The analysis of the blind mutant atoh7 revealed small locomotor defects associated with the mutation. Using multiclass supervised machine learning, ZebraZoom categorized all episodes of movement for each larva into one of three possible maneuvers: slow forward swim, routine turn, and escape. ZebraZoom reached 91% accuracy for categorization of stereotypical maneuvers that four independent experimenters unanimously identified. For all maneuvers in the data set, ZebraZoom agreed with four experimenters in 73.2-82.5% of cases. We modeled the series of maneuvers performed by larvae as Markov chains and observed that larvae often repeated the same maneuvers within a group. When analyzing subsequent maneuvers performed by different larvae, we found that larva-larva interactions occurred as series of escapes. Overall, ZebraZoom reached the level of precision found in manual analysis but accomplished tasks in a high-throughput format necessary for large screens.

  2. ZebraZoom: an automated program for high-throughput behavioral analysis and categorization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olivier eMirat

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available The zebrafish larva stands out as an emergent model organism for translational studies involving gene or drug screening thanks to its size, genetics, and permeability. At the larval stage, locomotion occurs in short episodes punctuated by periods of rest. Although phenotyping behavior is a key component of large-scale screens, it has not yet been automated in this model system. We developed ZebraZoom, a program to automatically track larvae and identify maneuvers for many animals performing discrete movements. Our program detects each episodic movement and extracts large-scale statistics on motor patterns to produce a quantification of the locomotor repertoire. We used ZebraZoom to identify motor defects induced by a glycinergic receptor antagonist. The analysis of the blind mutant atoh7 (lak revealed small locomotor defects associated with the mutation. Using multiclass supervised machine learning, ZebraZoom categorizes all episodes of movement for each larva into one of three possible maneuvers: slow forward swim, routine turn, and escape. ZebraZoom reached 91% accuracy for categorization of stereotypical maneuvers that four independent experimenters unanimously identified. For all maneuvers in the data set, ZebraZoom agreed 73.2-82.5% of cases with four independent experimenters. We modeled the series of maneuvers performed by larvae as Markov chains and observed that larvae often repeated the same maneuvers within a group. When analyzing subsequent maneuvers performed by different larvae, we found that larva-larva interactions occurred as series of escapes. Overall, ZebraZoom reaches the level of precision found in manual analysis but accomplishes tasks in a high-throughput format necessary for large screens.

  3. Secondary Magnetization of ZEBRA Dolomites in the Basin and Range Province of Eastern Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elmore, R. D.; Dulin, S. A.

    2013-12-01

    Zebra dolomites within the Devonian Guilmette Formation of the southern Basin and Range Province, Nevada, are the focus of a paleomagnetic study to determine if a characteristic magnetization exists that will yield insight into the timing of zebra dolomite formation. Zebra dolomites consist of alternating bands of light and dark dolomite, and are found throughout Nevada, often associated with mineralized ore deposits. Although a variety of mechanisms have been suggested for formation, the zebra dolomite throughout Nevada is likely associated with hydrothermal fluid migration. The current study focuses on zebra dolomites that have formed in close stratigraphic proximity and within the Alamo Breccia in the Delamar Range in southeastern Nevada. The Alamo Breccia is an impact generated mega-breccia zone within the Devonian Guilmette Formation. The zebra dolomites, including those in the Alamo Breccia, and host Guilmette in the Delamar Range have a characteristic remanent magnetization (ChRM) with maximum laboratory unblocking temperatures of 480°C that is interpreted to reside in magnetite. The rocks were structurally rotated to remove Cenozoic extension, and the stratigraphic mean direction of the ChRM has a declination of 164.4°, with an inclination of -3°. The calculated pole is at 51.6°N, 90.7°E (dp = 2.2, dm = 4.3) which lies near the late Triassic portion of the apparent polar wander path (APWP) for North America. Based on low burial temperatures, this ChRM is interpreted as a chemical remanent magnetization (CRM) that was acquired due to the mobilization of brines possibly associated with the Triassic Sonoma orogeny. Geochemical data are consistent with alteration by externally derived fluids. The presence of a late Triassic magnetization indicates that the zebra dolomite can be no younger than Late Triassic. Preliminary results from zebra dolomites in other areas in southeastern Nevada indicate a more complex magnetization; some locations contain both

  4. Nutrient Recycling Impacts by Zebra Mussels in Harper’s Ferry Slough, Upper Mississippi River

    Science.gov (United States)

    2000-12-01

    Reservoir, Wisconsin,” Lake Reserv. Manage. 8, 61-71. James, W. F., Barko, J. W., and Eakin, H. L. (1997). “Nutrient regeneration by the zebra ...1993), and fish er ies (Rich ard son and Bartsch 1997). In an other riverine en vi ron ment, the Sen eca River (New York), high ze bra mus sel den...Nutrient Recycling Impacts by Zebra Mussels in Harper’s Ferry Slough, Upper Mississippi River by W. F. James, J. W. Barko, H. L. Eakin, J. S

  5. Striped-tailed Yellow-finch nesting success in abandoned mining pits from central Brazilian cerrado

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    DT. Gressler

    Full Text Available Suitability of degraded areas as breeding habitats can be tested through assessment of nest predation rates. In this study we estimated nest success in relation to several potential predictors of nest survival in the Stripe-tailed Yellow-finch (Sicalis citrina breeding in abandoned mining pits at Brasília National Park. We monitored 73 nests during the 2007-breeding season. Predation was the main cause of nest failure (n = 48, 66%; while six nests were abandoned (8% and 19 nests produced young (26%. Mayfield’s daily survival rates and nest success were 0.94 and 23%, respectively. Our results from nest survival models on program MARK indicated that daily survival rates increase linearly towards the end of the breeding season and decrease as nests aged. None of the nest individual covariates we tested - nest height, nest size, nest substrate, and edge effect - were important predictors of nest survival; however, nests placed on the most common plant tended to have higher survival probabilities. Also, there was no observer effect on daily survival rates. Our study suggests that abandoned mining pits may be suitable alternative breeding habitats for Striped-tailed Yellow-finches since nest survival rates were similar to other studies in the central cerrado region.

  6. High-magnification super-resolution FINCH microscopy using birefringent crystal lens interferometers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siegel, Nisan; Lupashin, Vladimir; Storrie, Brian; Brooker, Gary

    2016-12-01

    Fresnel incoherent correlation holography (FINCH) microscopy is a promising approach for high-resolution biological imaging but has so far been limited to use with low-magnification, low-numerical-aperture configurations. We report the use of in-line incoherent interferometers made from uniaxial birefringent α-barium borate (α-BBO) or calcite crystals that overcome the aberrations and distortions present with previous implementations that employed spatial light modulators or gradient refractive index lenses. FINCH microscopy incorporating these birefringent elements and high-numerical-aperture oil immersion objectives could outperform standard wide-field fluorescence microscopy, with, for example, a 149 nm lateral point spread function at a wavelength of 590 nm. Enhanced resolution was confirmed with sub-resolution fluorescent beads. Taking the Golgi apparatus as a biological example, three different proteins labelled with GFP and two other fluorescent dyes in HeLa cells were resolved with an image quality that is comparable to similar samples captured by structured illumination microscopy.

  7. Cranial shape evolution in adaptive radiations of birds: comparative morphometrics of Darwin's finches and Hawaiian honeycreepers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tokita, Masayoshi; Yano, Wataru; James, Helen F.

    2017-01-01

    Adaptive radiation is the rapid evolution of morphologically and ecologically diverse species from a single ancestor. The two classic examples of adaptive radiation are Darwin's finches and the Hawaiian honeycreepers, which evolved remarkable levels of adaptive cranial morphological variation. To gain new insights into the nature of their diversification, we performed comparative three-dimensional geometric morphometric analyses based on X-ray microcomputed tomography (µCT) scanning of dried cranial skeletons. We show that cranial shapes in both Hawaiian honeycreepers and Coerebinae (Darwin's finches and their close relatives) are much more diverse than in their respective outgroups, but Hawaiian honeycreepers as a group display the highest diversity and disparity of all other bird groups studied. We also report a significant contribution of allometry to skull shape variation, and distinct patterns of evolutionary change in skull morphology in the two lineages of songbirds that underwent adaptive radiation on oceanic islands. These findings help to better understand the nature of adaptive radiations in general and provide a foundation for future investigations on the developmental and molecular mechanisms underlying diversification of these morphologically distinguished groups of birds. This article is part of the themed issue ‘Evo-devo in the genomics era, and the origins of morphological diversity’. PMID:27994122

  8. In-situ measurements of ice nucleating particles with FINCH (Fast Ice Nucleus Chamber)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohl, Rebecca; Frank, Fabian; Curtius, Joachim; Rose, Diana

    2017-04-01

    Ice nucleating particles (INPs), which are a small fraction of the total aerosol population, are capable of triggering ice formation under atmospheric conditions. Since INPs play an important role for the radiative properties of clouds as well as for the formation of precipitation it is important to get quantitative information on the ice activity of various atmospheric aerosol species. With the Fast Ice Nucleus Chamber (FINCH; Bundke et al., 2008) the number concentration of INP is determined at different freezing temperatures and supersaturations. In contrast to other commonly used INP counters, i.e., continuous flow diffusion chambers (CFDCs, DeMott et al., 2011), in FINCH the supersaturation is reached by mixing the sample flow of ambient aerosol with a warm moist as well as a cold dry airflow. By changing the flow rates and temperatures of the individual airflows the freezing temperature (down to -50°C) and supersaturation (up to above water saturation) can be varied relatively quickly. Particles that are ice active at the prescribed freezing temperature and supersaturation grow to crystals and are counted by a home-built optical particle counter (OPC) mounted below the chamber (Bundke et al., 2010). FINCH was operated during the four-week INUIT-BACCHUS-ACTRIS field campaign in Cyprus in April 2016. The measuring site was the location of the Cyprus Atmospheric Observatory (CAO) at Agia Marina Xyliatou, which is typically influenced by dust from the Sahara and the Middle East, an aerosol that is known to have relatively good ice nucleating ability. First results from this campaign will be presented. Acknowledgements: The authors thank the entire INUIT-BACCHUS-ACTRIS campaign team for their cooperation and support. The INUIT-2 project is financed by the German Research Foundation DFG (FOR 1525). The INUIT-Cyprus campaign is a cooperation with the EU-funded project BACCHUS and is also funded by ACTRIS-TNA. References: Bundke, U., Nillius, B., Jaenicke, R

  9. The ZEBRA electric vehicle battery: power and energy improvements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galloway, Roy C.; Haslam, Steven

    Vehicle trials with the first sodium/nickel chloride ZEBRA batteries indicated that the pulse power capability of the battery needed to be improved towards the end of the discharge. A research programme led to several design changes to improve the cell which, in combination, have improved the power of the battery to greater than 150 W kg -1 at 80% depth of discharge. Bench and vehicle tests have established the stability of the high power battery over several years of cycling. The gravimetric energy density of the first generation of cells was less than 100 Wh kg -1. Optimisation of the design has led to a cell with a specific energy of 120 Wh kg -1 or 86 Wh kg -1 for a 30 kWh battery. Recently, the cell chemistry has been altered to improve the useful capacity. The cell is assembled in the over-discharged state and during the first charge the following reactions occur: at 1.6 V: Al+4NaCl=NaAlCl 4+3Na; at 2.35 V: Fe+2NaCl=FeCl 2+2Na; at 2.58 V: Ni+2NaCl=NiCl 2+2 Na. The first reaction serves to prime the negative sodium electrode but occurs at too low a voltage to be of use in providing useful capacity. By minimising the aluminium content more NaCl is released for the main reactions to improve the capacity of the cell. This, and further composition optimisation, have resulted in cells with specific energies in excess of 140 Wh kg -1, which equates to battery energies>100 Wh kg -1. The present production battery, as installed in a Mercedes Benz A class electric vehicle, gives a driving range of 205 km (128 miles) in city and hill climbing. The cells with improved capacity will extend the practical driving range to beyond 240 km (150 miles).

  10. Non-destructive NIR detection of Zebra Chip disease in whole potatoes (abstract)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potatoes are the 4th biggest food crop worldwide and the leading vegetable crop in the U.S., accounting for 15 percent of vegetable sales. Over 50% of potatoes are consumed as processed products such as French fries and chips. Zebra Chip (ZC) is a disease of potatoes that causes brown discoloration ...

  11. Annotated Check List of the Spiders (Araneae of the Mountain Zebra National Park

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna S. Dippenaar-Schoeman

    1988-10-01

    Full Text Available A preliminary check list of the spider fauna of the Mountain Zebra National Park is given. Sixteen families, comprising 29 genera and 32 species, are recorded. Observations on the distribution, diagnostic morphology and behaviour of 15 species are given.

  12. Oxygen profile in zebra fish (Danio rerio) elucidated by theory and experiment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kranenbarg, S.; Boogaart, van den J.G.M.; Leeuwen, van J.L.

    2003-01-01

    We present a numerical-experi mental diffusion study in which we elucidate the spatial oxygen profile around and inside a zebra fish embryo in the pre-circulation stage (24-28 hpf). Lowest oxygen partial pressures are found in the head with a gradient of posteriorly increasing pressure along the mid

  13. Study of bioengineered zebra fish olfactory receptor 131-2: receptor purification and secondary structure analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leck, Kwong-Joo; Zhang, Shuguang; Hauser, Charlotte A E

    2010-11-25

    How fishes are able to detect trace molecules in large bodies of water is not understood. It is plausible that they use olfactory receptors to detect water-soluble compounds. How the zebra fish Danio Rerio, an organism with only 98 functional olfactory receptors, is able to selectively detect and recognize numerous compounds in water remains a puzzling phenomenon. We are interested in studying the biochemical and molecular mechanisms of olfaction in fish. Here, we report on the study of a bioengineered zebra fish olfactory receptor OR131-2, affinity-purified from a HEK293S tetracycline-inducible system. This receptor was expressed and translocated to the cell plasma membrane as revealed by confocal microscopy. Circular dichroism spectroscopy showed that the purified zebra fish receptor folded into an α-helical structure, as observed for other G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs). Our study shows that it is possible to produce viable quantities of the zebra fish olfactory receptor. This will not only enable detailed structural and functional analyses, but also aid in the design of biosensor devices in order to detect water-soluble metabolites or its intermediates, which are associated with human health.

  14. Study of bioengineered zebra fish olfactory receptor 131-2: receptor purification and secondary structure analysis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kwong-Joo Leck

    Full Text Available How fishes are able to detect trace molecules in large bodies of water is not understood. It is plausible that they use olfactory receptors to detect water-soluble compounds. How the zebra fish Danio Rerio, an organism with only 98 functional olfactory receptors, is able to selectively detect and recognize numerous compounds in water remains a puzzling phenomenon. We are interested in studying the biochemical and molecular mechanisms of olfaction in fish. Here, we report on the study of a bioengineered zebra fish olfactory receptor OR131-2, affinity-purified from a HEK293S tetracycline-inducible system. This receptor was expressed and translocated to the cell plasma membrane as revealed by confocal microscopy. Circular dichroism spectroscopy showed that the purified zebra fish receptor folded into an α-helical structure, as observed for other G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs. Our study shows that it is possible to produce viable quantities of the zebra fish olfactory receptor. This will not only enable detailed structural and functional analyses, but also aid in the design of biosensor devices in order to detect water-soluble metabolites or its intermediates, which are associated with human health.

  15. DNA damage and effects on antioxidative enzymes in zebra fish (Danio rerio) induced by atrazine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Lu-Sheng; Shao, Bo; Song, Yan; Xie, Hui; Wang, Jun; Wang, Jin-Hua; Liu, Wei; Hou, Xin-Xin

    2011-01-01

    The effect of atrazine (2-chloro-4-ethylamino-6-isopropylamino-1, 3, 5-triazine) on the activity of some antioxidative enzymes (superoxide dismutase, SOD; catalase, CAT; and guaiacol peroxidase, POD) and DNA damage induced by atrazine were investigated in zebra fish (Danio rerio). Zebra fish were exposed to four different concentrations of atrazine (0, 2.5, 5, and 10 mg/L) for 7, 14, and 21 days, with three replicates of 10 fishes per treatment. Compared to the controls, the SOD activity in the 2.5 mg/L treatment was markedly stimulated in 21 days, while the SOD activities in the 5 mg/L treatment was stimulated at first and then inhibited. The change of CAT activity at 2.5 mg/L was similar to the SOD activity at 2.5 mg/L. The POD activities in the 2.5, 5, and 10 mg/L treatment were markedly higher on days 14 and 21 compared with the controls. The olive tail moments of single-cell gel electrophoresis (SCGE) of zebra fish enhanced after treatment of different doses on days 7, 14, and 21, and significant differences were found compared to the controls. In conclusion, these findings showed the effect regularity of atrazine to zebra fish, and also provide the basis for the future research of adverse effects induced by atrazine in aquatic ecosystems.

  16. ZEBRA MUSSEL COLONIZATION OF RUSTY CRAYFISH IN GREEN BAY, LAKE MICHIGAN

    Science.gov (United States)

    In August, 1995 six rusty crayfish colonized with zebra mussels were captured in small-meshed fyke-nets sets set apart as of a fish sampling effort at Peter's Marsh and Long-Tail Point Wetland in lower Green Bay. Mussels colonized virtually all areas of the crayfish bodies, but ...

  17. Assessing the potential for fish predation to impact zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha): Insight from bioenergetics models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eggleton, M.A.; Miranda, L.E.; Kirk, J.P.

    2004-01-01

    Rates of annual food consumption and biomass were modeled for several fish species across representative rivers and lakes in eastern North America. Results were combined to assess the relative potential of fish predation to impact zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha). Predicted annual food consumption by fishes in southern waters was over 100% greater than that in northern systems because of warmer annual water temperatures and presumed increases in metabolic demand. Although generally increasing with latitude, biomasses of several key zebra mussel fish predators did not change significantly across latitudes. Biomasses of some less abundant fish predators did increase significantly with latitude, but increases were not of the magnitude to offset predicted decreases in food consumption. Our results generally support the premise that fishes in rivers and lakes of the southern United States (U.S.) have inherently greater potential to impact zebra mussels by predation. Our simulations may provide a partial explanation of why zebra mussel invasions have not been as rapid and widespread in southern U.S. waters compared to the Great Lakes region. ?? Blackwell Munksgaard, 2004.

  18. Bindweed Psyllid: Biology, Natural History, and Interactions with the Zebra Chip Pathogen

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bactericera maculipennis is a native psyllid that commonly occurs on field bindweed in the western United States. We have found that Pacific Northwest populations of B. maculipennis carry Liberibacter solanacearum, the pathogen associated with zebra chip disease of potato. In North America, this p...

  19. Transcriptional response of stress genes to metal exposure in zebra mussel larvae and adults

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Navarro, Anna; Faria, Melissa; Barata, Carlos [Institute of Environmental Assessment and Water Research (IDAEA-CSIC), Jordi Girona 18, 08034 Barcelona (Spain); Pina, Benjamin, E-mail: bpcbmc@cid.csic.e [Institute of Environmental Assessment and Water Research (IDAEA-CSIC), Jordi Girona 18, 08034 Barcelona (Spain)

    2011-01-15

    Development of stress markers for the invader freshwater zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) is of great interest for both conservation and biomonitoring purposes. Gene expression profiles of several putative or already established gene expression stress markers (Metallothionein, Superoxide dismutase, Catalase, Glutathione S transferase, Glutathione peroxidase, Cytochrome c oxidase, the multixenobiotic resistance P-gp1, and heat shock proteins HSP70 and HSP90) were analyzed by quantitative Real-Time PCR in adults and pediveliger larvae after exposure to metals (Hg, Cu, Cd). A defined pattern of coordinated responses to metal exposure and, presumably, to oxidative stress was observed in gills and digestive gland from adults. A similar, albeit partial response was observed in larvae, indicating an early development of stress-related gene responses in zebra mussel. The tools developed in this study may be useful both for future control strategies and for the use of zebra mussel as sentinel species in water courses with stable populations. - Coordinated expression of stress genes in zebra mussel.

  20. Characterization of management and environmental factors associated with regional variations in potato zebra chip occurrence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potato zebra chip (ZC) disease, putatively caused by the bacterial pathogen ‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’, which is vectored by the potato psyllid (Bactericera cockerelli), has caused widespread damage to the US potato production ever since its first discovery in south Texas in 2000. In t...

  1. Evaluation of several chemical disinfectants for removing zebra mussels from unionid mussels

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1998-01-01

    We evaluated the safety and effectiveness of chemical treatments for killing veliger and juvenile stages of the zebra mussel Dreissena polymorpha attached to unionid mussels. Static toxicity tests were conducted on eight unionid mussel species with common aquaculture chemicals (benzalkonium chloride, formalin, hydrogen peroxide, calcium chloride, potassium chloride, and sodium chloride). The concentration and duration of each chemical treatment tested had previously been found to kill zebra mussel veligers and juveniles. Several species (e.g., Elliptio dilatata, Lampsilis cardium, and Lasmigona complanata) incurred less than 10% mortality in chloride salt treatments, while in other species (e.g., Obliquaria reflexa and Leptodea fragilis) mortality varied greatly among treatment regimes. Treatments with benzalkonium chloride, formalin, and hydrogen peroxide were less than 90% effective on juvenile stages of zebra mussels and, therefore, were ruled out after preliminary trials. Limited application of specific chemical treatments may be feasible for more tolerant species; however, effective disinfection of unionid shells will require the use of chemical treatment followed by a quarantine period to completely remove zebra mussel larvae and juveniles.

  2. Examining the role of tuber biochemistry in the development of zebra chip in stored potato tubers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zebra chip disease (ZC), associated with infection by the bacterium ‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’ (Lso), is an emerging problem for potato growers in the United States, Mexico, and New Zealand. Although potato tubers exhibiting ZC symptoms will be rejected by processors, it remains possible...

  3. Variations in Zebra Chip disease expression and tuber biochemistry in response to vector density

    Science.gov (United States)

    This study examined effects of the number of ‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’ (Lso)-positive psyllids feeding on potatoes to Lso titers, zebra chip disease (ZC) symptom severity, and levels of amino acids, carbohydrates, and phenolics in tubers harvested weeks later. Red La Soda and Russet Nor...

  4. Assimilation and depuration of microcystin–LR by the zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pires, L.M.D.; Karlsson, K.M.; Meriluoto, J.A.O.; Kardinaal, E.A.; Visser, P.M.; Siewertsen, K.; Van Donk, E.; Ibelings, B.W.

    2004-01-01

    Zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) are an important component of the foodweb of shallow lakes in the Netherlands, amongst others in Lake IJsselmeer, an international important wetland. Large numbers of ducks feed on these mussels in autumn and winter. The mussels are filter feeders and are exposed

  5. Zebra Chip: What is the risk of disease transmission through potato tubers?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zebra chip disease of potato is an economically devastating disease that causes a reduction in quality and quantity of tubers produced, and has affected growers in the United States, Mexico, Central America, and New Zealand. In an effort to determine if disease transmission can occur through fresh ...

  6. Automatic detection of zebra crossings from mobile LiDAR data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riveiro, B.; González-Jorge, H.; Martínez-Sánchez, J.; Díaz-Vilariño, L.; Arias, P.

    2015-07-01

    An algorithm for the automatic detection of zebra crossings from mobile LiDAR data is developed and tested to be applied for road management purposes. The algorithm consists of several subsequent processes starting with road segmentation by performing a curvature analysis for each laser cycle. Then, intensity images are created from the point cloud using rasterization techniques, in order to detect zebra crossing using the Standard Hough Transform and logical constrains. To optimize the results, image processing algorithms are applied to the intensity images from the point cloud. These algorithms include binarization to separate the painting area from the rest of the pavement, median filtering to avoid noisy points, and mathematical morphology to fill the gaps between the pixels in the border of white marks. Once the road marking is detected, its position is calculated. This information is valuable for inventorying purposes of road managers that use Geographic Information Systems. The performance of the algorithm has been evaluated over several mobile LiDAR strips accounting for a total of 30 zebra crossings. That test showed a completeness of 83%. Non-detected marks mainly come from painting deterioration of the zebra crossing or by occlusions in the point cloud produced by other vehicles on the road.

  7. Zebra - sõbralik ja lillelõhnaline / Ell-Maaja Randküla

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Randküla, Ell-Maaja, 1939-2016

    2006-01-01

    Tallinnas Narva mnt. 7 asuva kohviku Zebra sisekujundus. Sisearhitekt Tiiu Truus. Ehitus: AS KMG Ehitus. Materjalidest on kasutatud triibulise mustriga puitu Zebrano ja looduskivi. Laes on dekoratiivsed lipud, mille graafiline kujundus on Tiiu Priskolt ja Mati Veermetsalt. Tualettruumi looduskivist valamu ja põrandavaasi autor on Kaido Kivi. Ill.: põhiplaan, 11 värv. vaadet

  8. Zebra - sõbralik ja lillelõhnaline / Ell-Maaja Randküla

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Randküla, Ell-Maaja, 1939-2016

    2006-01-01

    Tallinnas Narva mnt. 7 asuva kohviku Zebra sisekujundus. Sisearhitekt Tiiu Truus. Ehitus: AS KMG Ehitus. Materjalidest on kasutatud triibulise mustriga puitu Zebrano ja looduskivi. Laes on dekoratiivsed lipud, mille graafiline kujundus on Tiiu Priskolt ja Mati Veermetsalt. Tualettruumi looduskivist valamu ja põrandavaasi autor on Kaido Kivi. Ill.: põhiplaan, 11 värv. vaadet

  9. Cultivation of zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) within their invaded range to improve water quality in reservoirs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLaughlan, C; Aldridge, D C

    2013-09-01

    Algal and cyanobacterial blooms in reservoirs are driven by nutrient enrichment and may present economic and conservation challenges for water managers. Current approaches such as suppression of algal growth with barley straw, ferric dosing or manipulation of fish stocks have not yielded long term successes. A possibility that has sparked growing interest is the encouragement and cultivation of natural filter feeders, such as mussels, which remove suspended matter from the water and reduce nutrient levels through biodeposition and assimilation. This review focusses on the zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) as a tool for enhancement of water quality in reservoirs. Native to the Ponto-Caspian region, this species has invaded many lakes and reservoirs across North America and Western Europe, where it occurs in very high densities. While purposeful introduction of a non-native species into new sites is socially unacceptable, we investigate the possible benefits of encouraging increased abundance of zebra mussels in sites where the species is already established. We estimate that the annual nitrogen and phosphorus input into a large UK reservoir (Grafham Water) could be assimilated into zebra mussel biomass by encouraging settlement onto 3075 m and 1400 m of commercial mussel ropes, respectively. While zebra mussel cultivation has an incredible capacity to push eutrophic systems towards a clear water state, there are many risks associated with encouraging an invasive species, even within sites where it has already established. The zebra mussel is a prominent biofouler of native unionid mussels and raw water pipes, it changes the physical characteristics of the places it inhabits, in sites low in phosphorus it can be responsible for toxic cyanobacterial blooms, it alters nutrient cycling and community structure and it can have negative impacts on amenity value. Increased propagule pressure from elevated numbers of veliger larvae in the water column may increase the risk

  10. Evaluation of the use of chlorine dioxide to control zebra mussels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tsou, J. [Electric Power Research Institute, Palo Alto, CA (United States); Coyle, J. [Central Illinois Public Service, Meredosia, IL (United States); Pallo, S. [Illinois Power Company, Clinton, IL (United States)] [and others

    1995-06-01

    Chlorine dioxide was tested as a zebra mussel biocide at two steam electric generating stations in Illinois. The purpose of these studies was to determine the efficacy of chlorine dioxide in killing zebra mussels and to develop site specific treatment programs for the two utilities. The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) Zebra Mussel Consortium sponsored the testing of this recent use of chlorine dioxide. The raw water system at Central Illinois Public Service`s Meredosia Station, on the Illinois River, received two to four day applications of chlorine dioxide in April, July, and September 1994. The raw water system at Illinois Power Company`s Wood River Station, on the Mississippi River, received two to four day applications in July 1993, January, April, May, July, and September 1994. Chlorine dioxide was generated on-site and injected into the water intake structure, in front of or just behind the traveling screens, at both power stations. Both cooling and service water systems were treated at the facilities. Various water quality parameters, including residual chlorine in the discharge effluent, were measured during the studies. Residual chlorine was neutralized with sodium bisulfite prior to discharge at both plants. Bioboxes, containing healthy zebra mussels, were placed at various strategic locations throughout the power stations. Control bioboxes were also placed in the rivers, upstream of the chlorine dioxide injection locations. Results of the chlorine dioxide applications varied from 35 percent to 100 percent. These varied results appear to be related to seasonal water temperature differences, water quality, and/or plant design. Mortality differences were also noted in bioboxes which contained zebra mussels imported from Lake Erie and those which contained local mussels. These and other data are presented.

  11. Phylogeography of the Buarremon brush-finch complex (Aves, Emberizidae) in Mesoamerica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarro-Sigüenza, Adolfo G; Townsend Peterson, A; Nyari, Arpad; García-Deras, Gabriela M; García-Moreno, Jaime

    2008-04-01

    The Buarremon brush-finches represent a complex suite of populations distributed in the montane New World Tropics from Mexico south to South America. Traditional taxonomic arrangements have separated populations of this genus into three species, based on plumage variation, although plumage patterns are well known to exhibit homoplasy. We present a first detailed phylogeographic and phylogenetic study, focused on Mesoamerican populations, and signal the existence of strong differentiation among populations with a clear geographic structure. We find well differentiated clades for (1) the Sierra Madre Oriental and Sierra Madre del Sur in Oaxaca, (2) western Mexican populations, including the B. brunneinucha populations in the Sierra Madre del Sur and B. virenticeps, (3) Sierra Madre Oriental and Sierra de los Tuxtlas, (4) northern Central America, (5) southern Central America, (6) middle Central America, and (7) South America. We demonstrate a lack of concordance with plumage patterns, and argue for several additional species to be recognized in the complex.

  12. State-space modeling of population sizes and trends in Nihoa Finch and Millerbird

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gorresen, P. Marcos; Brinck, Kevin W.; Camp, Richard J.; Farmer, Chris; Plentovich, Sheldon M.; Banko, Paul C.

    2016-01-01

    Both of the 2 passerines endemic to Nihoa Island, Hawai‘i, USA—the Nihoa Millerbird (Acrocephalus familiaris kingi) and Nihoa Finch (Telespiza ultima)—are listed as endangered by federal and state agencies. Their abundances have been estimated by irregularly implemented fixed-width strip-transect sampling from 1967 to 2012, from which area-based extrapolation of the raw counts produced highly variable abundance estimates for both species. To evaluate an alternative survey method and improve abundance estimates, we conducted variable-distance point-transect sampling between 2010 and 2014. We compared our results to those obtained from strip-transect samples. In addition, we applied state-space models to derive improved estimates of population size and trends from the legacy time series of strip-transect counts. Both species were fairly evenly distributed across Nihoa and occurred in all or nearly all available habitat. Population trends for Nihoa Millerbird were inconclusive because of high within-year variance. Trends for Nihoa Finch were positive, particularly since the early 1990s. Distance-based analysis of point-transect counts produced mean estimates of abundance similar to those from strip-transects but was generally more precise. However, both survey methods produced biologically unrealistic variability between years. State-space modeling of the long-term time series of abundances obtained from strip-transect counts effectively reduced uncertainty in both within- and between-year estimates of population size, and allowed short-term changes in abundance trajectories to be smoothed into a long-term trend.

  13. Syringeal specialization of frequency control during song production in the Bengalese finch (Lonchura striata domestica).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Secora, Kristen R; Peterson, Jennifer R; Urbano, Catherine M; Chung, Boah; Okanoya, Kazuo; Cooper, Brenton G

    2012-01-01

    Singing in songbirds is a complex, learned behavior which shares many parallels with human speech. The avian vocal organ (syrinx) has two potential sound sources, and each sound generator is under unilateral, ipsilateral neural control. Different songbird species vary in their use of bilateral or unilateral phonation (lateralized sound production) and rapid switching between left and right sound generation (interhemispheric switching of motor control). Bengalese finches (Lonchura striata domestica) have received considerable attention, because they rapidly modify their song in response to manipulations of auditory feedback. However, how the left and right sides of the syrinx contribute to acoustic control of song has not been studied. Three manipulations of lateralized syringeal control of sound production were conducted. First, unilateral syringeal muscular control was eliminated by resection of the left or right tracheosyringeal portion of the hypoglossal nerve, which provides neuromuscular innervation of the syrinx. Spectral and temporal features of song were compared before and after lateralized nerve injury. In a second experiment, either the left or right sound source was devoiced to confirm the role of each sound generator in the control of acoustic phonology. Third, air pressure was recorded before and after unilateral denervation to enable quantification of acoustic change within individual syllables following lateralized nerve resection. These experiments demonstrate that the left sound source produces louder, higher frequency, lower entropy sounds, and the right sound generator produces lower amplitude, lower frequency, higher entropy sounds. The bilateral division of labor is complex and the frequency specialization is the opposite pattern observed in most songbirds. Further, there is evidence for rapid interhemispheric switching during song production. Lateralized control of song production in Bengalese finches may enhance acoustic complexity of song

  14. Variation with land use of immune function and prevalence of avian pox in Galapagos finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zylberberg, Maxine; Lee, Kelly A; Klasing, Kirk C; Wikelski, Martin

    2013-02-01

    Introduced disease has been implicated in recent wildlife extinctions and population declines worldwide. Both anthropogenic-induced change and natural environmental features can affect pathogen spread. Furthermore, environmental disturbance can result in changes in stress physiology, nutrition, and social structure, which in turn can suppress immune system function. However, it remains unknown whether landscape variation results in heterogeneity in host resistance to pathogens. Avian pox virus, a pathogen implicated in avian declines and extinctions in Hawaii, was introduced to the Galapagos in the 1890 s, and prevalence (total number of current infections) has increased recently in finches. We tested whether prevalence and recovery trends in 7 species of Galapagos finches varied by elevation or human land use. To do so, we used infection data obtained from 545 wild-caught birds. In addition, we determined whether annual changes in 4 aspects of innate immune function (complement protein activity, natural antibody activity, concentration of PIT54 protein, and heterophil:lymphocyte ratio) varied by elevation or land use. Prevalence and recovery rates did not vary by elevation from 2008 to 2009. Avian pox prevalence and proportion of recovered individuals in undeveloped and urban areas did not change from 2008 to 2009. In agricultural areas, avian pox prevalence increased 8-fold (from 2% to 17% of 234 individuals sampled) and proportion of recovered individuals increased (11% to 19%) from 2008 to 2009. These results suggest high disease-related mortality. Variation in immune function across human land-use types correlated with variation in both increased prevalence and susceptibility, which indicates changes in innate immune function may underlie changes in disease susceptibility. Our results suggest anthropogenic disturbance, in particular agricultural practices, may underlie immunological changes in host species that themselves contribute to pathogen emergence.

  15. Syringeal specialization of frequency control during song production in the Bengalese finch (Lonchura striata domestica.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristen R Secora

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Singing in songbirds is a complex, learned behavior which shares many parallels with human speech. The avian vocal organ (syrinx has two potential sound sources, and each sound generator is under unilateral, ipsilateral neural control. Different songbird species vary in their use of bilateral or unilateral phonation (lateralized sound production and rapid switching between left and right sound generation (interhemispheric switching of motor control. Bengalese finches (Lonchura striata domestica have received considerable attention, because they rapidly modify their song in response to manipulations of auditory feedback. However, how the left and right sides of the syrinx contribute to acoustic control of song has not been studied. METHODOLOGY: Three manipulations of lateralized syringeal control of sound production were conducted. First, unilateral syringeal muscular control was eliminated by resection of the left or right tracheosyringeal portion of the hypoglossal nerve, which provides neuromuscular innervation of the syrinx. Spectral and temporal features of song were compared before and after lateralized nerve injury. In a second experiment, either the left or right sound source was devoiced to confirm the role of each sound generator in the control of acoustic phonology. Third, air pressure was recorded before and after unilateral denervation to enable quantification of acoustic change within individual syllables following lateralized nerve resection. SIGNIFICANCE: These experiments demonstrate that the left sound source produces louder, higher frequency, lower entropy sounds, and the right sound generator produces lower amplitude, lower frequency, higher entropy sounds. The bilateral division of labor is complex and the frequency specialization is the opposite pattern observed in most songbirds. Further, there is evidence for rapid interhemispheric switching during song production. Lateralized control of song production in

  16. High variation and very low differentiation in wide ranging plains zebra (Equus quagga): insights from mtDNA and microsatellites

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lorenzen, Eline D; Arctander, Peter; Siegismund, Hans R

    2008-01-01

    Patterns of genetic differentiation in the plains zebra (Equus quagga) were analysed using mitochondrial DNA control region variation and seven microsatellites. The six morphologically defined subspecies of plains zebra lacked the population genetic structure indicative of distinct evolutionary...... units. Both marker sets showed high levels of genetic variation and very low levels of differentiation. There was no geographical structuring of mitochondrial DNA haplotypes in the phylogenetic tree, and the plains zebra showed the lowest overall differentiation recorded in any African ungulate studied...... so far. Arid-adapted African ungulates have shown significant regional genetic structuring in support of the Pleistocene refuge theory. This was not the case in the zebra, and the data are discussed in relation to the impact of Pleistocene climate change on a nonbovid member of the savannah ungulate...

  17. Epi-genetics modifications induced by a depleted uranium exposure in the zebra fish

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gombeau, K.; Pereira, S.; Adam-Guillermin, C. [IRSN/PRP-ENV/SERIS/LECO (France); Bourdineaud, J.P. [UMR CNRS 5805 EPOC (France); Ravanat, J.L. [INAC/Scib UMR E3 CEA-UJF (France)

    2014-07-01

    The work presented here integrates in the general framework of assessment of effects of chronic exposure to low doses of radionuclides. This evaluation necessarily involves the study of the mechanisms of toxic action at the cellular or subcellular level, in order to better understand the processes of propagation of effects to the level of the populations or ecosystems. As such, the question of the mechanisms underlying the trans-generational effects and the adaptive capacity of organisms is central, both in humans and in animal species. Epigenetic refer to changes in gene function that do not involve changes in DNA sequence, and which are transmitted in a hereditary manner by mitosis or meiosis. The latter plays a key role in these trans-generational effects. Among these changes, DNA-methylation is one of the most studied epigenetic parameters. This work is part of a PhD, included in the European COMET project (Euratom 7. Framework Program), and focuses on epigenetic modifications induced in zebra fish after a chronic exposure to radionuclides. Male and female fishes were exposed to 2 and 20 μg.L{sup -1} of depleted uranium for 24 days. After 7 and 24 days of exposure, brain, gonads, and eyes were collected in order to study changes in DNA methylation. In addition, genotoxicity was measured by the γH2AX assay. The overall changes in DNA methylation were studied by AFLP-MS and HPLC-MS, in order to know if the exposure to depleted uranium changes the global status of DNA methylation. We have found a decrease in the global level of methylation in the eyes of males after 24 days of exposure, the diminution being much more important and significant at the higher concentration of exposure (11.79 ± 3.62 against 52.43 ± 3.01 for controls) This study will be refined by analyzing the methylation of specific regions of the genome, because it represent the sequences of genes involved in major physiological functions and that may be subject to variations in the methylation

  18. Drinks like a fish: zebra fish (Danio rerio) as a behavior genetic model to study alcohol effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerlai, R; Lahav, M; Guo, S; Rosenthal, A

    2000-12-01

    Zebra fish may be an ideal vertebrate model system for numerous human diseases with which the genetics and biological mechanisms of the disease may be studied. Zebra fish has been successfully used in developmental genetics, and recently, neurobiologists have also started to study this species. A potentially interesting target disease amenable for analysis with zebra fish is drug addiction, e.g. alcoholism. Although genetic tools to manipulate the genome of zebra fish are available, appropriate phenotypical testing methods are often lacking. In this paper, we describe basic behavioral tests to investigate the acute effects of alcohol on zebra fish. These behavioral paradigms will be useful for the genetic and biological analysis of acute and chronic drug effects as well as addiction. In addition to presenting findings for the acute effects of alcohol, we briefly describe our strategy for generating and screening mutants. We hope that our pilot work will facilitate the future development of behavioral tests and the use of zebra fish in the genetic analysis of the biological effects of drugs of abuse.

  19. Pre- and postnatal growth phenomena of Burchell's Zebra Equus Burchelli Antiquorum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G.L. Smuts

    1975-07-01

    Full Text Available Between 1969 and 1972 growth data were collected from 175 zebra Equus burchelli antiquorum and 138 zebra embryos and foetuses from the Central District of the Kruger National Park, Republic of South Africa. Statistical analysis of data indicated no significant difference between body mass of adult stallions (range == 267,3 to 373,3 kg; mean = 318,5 kg; n = 57 and adult non-pregnant mares (range = 272,6 to 386,9 kg; mean = 321,6 kg; n = 51 (t = 0,587. The heaviest zebra had a body mass of 429,4 kilogram. This was a pregnant mare carrying a 35,2 kg foetus. Von Bertalanffy growth curves indicated that shoulder heights in young zebra may reach the adult range by one year of age, the adult body mass range is, however, only attained after three years of age. These curves also showed that age classification of free roaming zebra is only reliable up to the age of about two years, after which individual variation is too great. Stallions were significantly taller at the shoulder than mares (mean = 1,8 cm (t = 2,032 and neck thickness was the only body dimension showing visible sexual dimorphism in adults. Here the stallion had a neck girth on average 8,1 cm greater than the mare. Regression equations for estimating body mass from body dimensions were calculated by using a standard logarithmic transformation and fitting a linear regression by the method of least squares and also by undertaking standard straight line linear regression analyses. Exponential curves obtained by the first method indicated that growth was not isometric (not linear and that the ratios of any of the dimensions of length to body mass were con- stantly changing, i.e. growth is allometric. Marked allometric growth differences existed between the two sexes except in the case of the heart girth-body mass relationship. Comparison of growth data from E. b. antiquorum with that of E. b. boehmi from Tanzania (Sachs 1967, indicates that E. b. antiquorum is considerably larger. Body masses

  20. Gene expression profiling during the byssogenesis of zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Wei; Faisal, Mohamed

    2010-04-01

    Since its invasion to the North American waters 20 years ago, the zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) has negatively impacted the ecosystems through its firm underwater adhesion. The molecular mechanisms governing the functions of the zebra mussel byssus, the main structure responsible for maintaining the underwater adhesion, have received little attention. Our previously developed zebra mussel foot byssus cDNA microarray was applied in this study to identify the genes involved in different stages of the byssal threads generation. Byssal threads of zebra mussels were manually severed under laboratory conditions and the formation of new byssal threads was followed over a 3 week course. By comparing the gene expression profiles in different stages of byssal threads generation (byssogenesis) to their baseline values, we found that the number of unique byssus genes differentially expressed at 12-h, 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, and 21 days post-treatment was 13, 13, 20, 17, 16, 20, and 29, respectively. Comparisons were also made between two subsequent samples (e.g., 12 h vs. 1, 1 vs. 2 days, 2 vs. 3 days, and so on). Seven differentially expressed genes were selected for validation by using quantitative reverse transcription PCR (qRT-PCR) and the results were consistent with those from the microarray analysis. By using fluorescent in situ hybridization, we found that two microarray identified genes, BG15_F03-DPFP and BG16_H05-EGP, were expressed in two major byssus glands located in the zebra mussel foot: the stem-forming gland and plaque-forming gland, respectively. Moreover, the qRT-PCR of seven microarray identified genes with different zebra mussel samples suggested that they were also expressed in other mussel tissues beside the foot, albeit at much lower levels. This suggested that the microarray identified genes were produced primarily by the foot, and were likely associated with byssogenesis. The differentially expressed genes identified in this study indicated that multiple

  1. The Relationship between Plants Used to Sustain Finches (Fringillidae and Uses for Human Medicine in Southeast Spain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio Belda

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available We analyzed plants that are traditionally used by wild bird hunters and breeders to capture and promote captive breeding of Fringillidae (finches or songbirds in the province of Alicante, Spain. The majority of plants used in songbird breeding have medicinal properties in traditional human medicine (48 different uses; thus, another main goal was to show their relationships with human medical uses. We compiled a list of 97 plant species from 31 botanical families that are used to attract finches and identified 11 different use categories for these plants in finch keeping. The most common uses were for trapping birds and as a source of food for birds in captivity. Cannabis sativa has the greatest cultural importance index (CI = 1.158, and Phalaris canariensis (annual canary grass or alpist was the most common species used to attract Fringillidae and was used by all informants (=158. Most of the 97 species are wild plants and mainly belong to the families Compositae, Gramineae, Cruciferae, and Rosaceae and also have medicinal properties for humans. In the study area, the intensification of agriculture and abandonment of traditional management practices have caused the population of many songbirds to decline, as well as the loss of popular ethnographic knowledge.

  2. The Relationship between Plants Used to Sustain Finches (Fringillidae) and Uses for Human Medicine in Southeast Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belda, Antonio; Peiró, Victoriano; Seva, Eduardo

    2012-01-01

    We analyzed plants that are traditionally used by wild bird hunters and breeders to capture and promote captive breeding of Fringillidae (finches or songbirds) in the province of Alicante, Spain. The majority of plants used in songbird breeding have medicinal properties in traditional human medicine (48 different uses); thus, another main goal was to show their relationships with human medical uses. We compiled a list of 97 plant species from 31 botanical families that are used to attract finches and identified 11 different use categories for these plants in finch keeping. The most common uses were for trapping birds and as a source of food for birds in captivity. Cannabis sativa has the greatest cultural importance index (CI = 1.158), and Phalaris canariensis (annual canary grass or alpist) was the most common species used to attract Fringillidae and was used by all informants (n = 158). Most of the 97 species are wild plants and mainly belong to the families Compositae, Gramineae, Cruciferae, and Rosaceae and also have medicinal properties for humans. In the study area, the intensification of agriculture and abandonment of traditional management practices have caused the population of many songbirds to decline, as well as the loss of popular ethnographic knowledge.

  3. The Relationship between Plants Used to Sustain Finches (Fringillidae) and Uses for Human Medicine in Southeast Spain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belda, Antonio; Peiró, Victoriano; Seva, Eduardo

    2012-01-01

    We analyzed plants that are traditionally used by wild bird hunters and breeders to capture and promote captive breeding of Fringillidae (finches or songbirds) in the province of Alicante, Spain. The majority of plants used in songbird breeding have medicinal properties in traditional human medicine (48 different uses); thus, another main goal was to show their relationships with human medical uses. We compiled a list of 97 plant species from 31 botanical families that are used to attract finches and identified 11 different use categories for these plants in finch keeping. The most common uses were for trapping birds and as a source of food for birds in captivity. Cannabis sativa has the greatest cultural importance index (CI = 1.158), and Phalaris canariensis (annual canary grass or alpist) was the most common species used to attract Fringillidae and was used by all informants (n = 158). Most of the 97 species are wild plants and mainly belong to the families Compositae, Gramineae, Cruciferae, and Rosaceae and also have medicinal properties for humans. In the study area, the intensification of agriculture and abandonment of traditional management practices have caused the population of many songbirds to decline, as well as the loss of popular ethnographic knowledge. PMID:22611428

  4. Developing accurate survey methods for estimating population sizes and trends of the critically endangered Nihoa Millerbird and Nihoa Finch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gorresen, P. Marcos; Camp, Richard J.; Brinck, Kevin W.; Farmer, Chris

    2012-01-01

    This report describes the results of a comparative study of bird survey methods undertaken for the purpose of improving assessments of the conservation status for the two endemic passerines on the Island of Nihoa—Nihoa Millerbird (Sylviidae: Acrocephalus familiaris kingi) and Nihoa Finch (Fringilidae: Telespiza ultima; also referred herein as millerbird and finch)—both listed as endangered under the Federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) and Hawai`i Revised Statutes 195D. The current survey protocol, implemented since 1967, has produced a highly variable range of counts for both the millerbird and finch, making difficult assessments of population size and trend. This report details the analyses of bird survey data collected in 2010 and 2011 in which three survey methods were compared―strip-transect, line-transect, and point-transect sampling―and provides recommendations for improved survey methods and protocols. Funding for this research was provided through a Science Support Partnership grant sponsored jointly by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).

  5. Naris deformation in Darwin’s finches: Experimental and historical evidence for a post-1960s arrival of the parasite Philornis downsi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sonia Kleindorfer

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available The rate of evolution depends on the strength of selection, which may be particularly strong for introduced parasites and their naive hosts. Because natural selection acts on phenotypes and because parasites can alter host phenotype, one fruitful starting point to measure the impact of novel pathogens is to quantify parasite-induced changes to host phenotype. Our study system is Darwin’s finches on Floreana Island, Galápagos Archipelago, and the virulent fly larvae of Philornis downsi that were first discovered in Darwin’s finch nests in 1997. We use an experimental approach and measure host phenotype in parasitized and parasite-free chicks in Darwin’s small ground finch (Geospiza fuliginosa. Beak size did not differ between the two treatment groups, but naris size was 106% larger in parasitized chicks (∼3.3 mm versus parasite-free chicks (∼1.6 mm. To test if P. downsi was present prior to the 1960s, we compared naris size in historical (1899–1962 and contemporary birds (2004–2014 on Floreana Island in small ground finches (G. fuliginosa and medium tree finches (Camarhynchus pauper. Contemporary Darwin’s finches had significantly larger naris size (including extreme deformation, whereas historical naris size was both smaller and less variable. These findings provide the first longitudinal analysis for the extent of P. downsi-induced change to host naris size and show that Darwin’s finches, prior to the 1960s, were not malformed. Thus natural selection on altered host phenotype as a consequence of P. downsi parasitism appears to be contemporary and novel.

  6. Statistics and Classification of the Microwave Zebra Patterns Associated with Solar Flares

    CERN Document Server

    Tan, Baolin; Zhang, Yin; Meszarosova, H; Karlicky, M

    2013-01-01

    The microwave zebra pattern (ZP) is the most interesting, intriguing, and complex spectral structure frequently observed in solar flares. A comprehensive statistical study will certainly help us to understand the formation mechanism, which is not exactly clear now. This work presents a comprehensive statistical analysis on a big sample with 202 ZP events collected from observations at the Chinese Solar Broadband Radio Spectrometer at Huairou and the Ondrejov Radiospectrograph in Czech Republic at frequencies of 1.00 - 7.60 GHz during 2000 - 2013. After investigating the parameter properties of ZPs, such as the occurrence in flare phase, frequency range, polarization degree, duration, etc., we find that the variation of zebra stripe frequency separation with respect to frequency is the best indicator for a physical classification of ZPs. Microwave ZPs can be classified into 3 types: equidistant ZP, variable-distant ZP, and growing-distant ZP, possibly corresponding to mechanisms of Bernstein wave model, whistl...

  7. Neutron and X-ray diagnostics for SZP experiments at Zebra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Darling, T.; McGee, E.; Covington, A.; Dutra, E.; Wessel, F. J.; Ruskov, E.; Rahman, H. U.; Valenzuela, J. C.; Conti, F.

    2016-10-01

    The Zebra pulsed-power generator at the Nevada Terawatt Facility (NTF) of the University of Nevada produces current pulses of up to a megaamp with a rise time of 70 ns. By passing this current through a structured gas jet target, such as the Staged-Z-pinch (SZP), the project hopes to approach near energy gain conditions from fusion reactions in a pinched plasma. This article describes the setup and instrumentation at Zebra for detecting the neutron and x-ray output of the pinch and the procedures for reducing these signals to a quantitative measurement of the yields. Scintillation detectors with fast PMT detectors and activation decay measurements are the primary neutron diagnostics. These measurements are of prime importance in determining the parameters required to optimize the gas jet conditions for fusion. Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy, DE-AR0000569.

  8. PERBANDINGAN KECEPATAN PEMBIUSAN DAN RECOVERY IKAN HIAS ZEBRA JAKARTA MENGGUNAKAN SIANIDA DAN MINYAK CENGKEH

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wahyu Andy Nugraha

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available This research aimed to compare the stunning time and recovery time of reef fish Zebra Jakarta. Sianida and clove oil was used as anaesthetic agent in this experiment. Both substances used concentration of 5 ppm. 5 fish was used in each concentration. Fish was exposed to each concentration one by one and once fish undergo in total loss of equilibrium, time was recorded. Fish then tranferred to recovery tank contained fresh aerated sea water. Once fish recovered, time was recorded. Result shows that fish exposed to clove oil 5 ppm have faster stunning time than fish exposed to cyanide 5 ppm. However, fish exposed to cyanide 5 ppm have faster recovery time compared to fish exposed to clove oil 5 ppm.Key words : Stunning time, Zebra Jakarta, Cyanide, Clove oil

  9. Quasi-periodic wiggles of microwave zebra structures in a solar flare

    CERN Document Server

    Yu, Sijie; Selzer, L A; Tan, Baolin; Yan, Yihua

    2013-01-01

    Quasi-periodic wiggles of microwave zebra pattern structures with period range from about 0.5 s to 1.5 s are found in a X-class solar flare on 2006 December 13 at the 2.6-3.8 GHz with the Chinese Solar Broadband Radio Spectrometer (SBRS/Huairou). Periodogram and correlation analysis show that the wiggles have two-three significant periodicities and almost in phase between stripes at different frequency. The Alfven speed estimated from the zebra pattern structures is about 700 Km/s. We obtain the spatial size of the waveguiding plasma structure to be about 1 Mm with the detected period of about 1 s. It suggests the ZP wiggles can be associated with the fast mag- netoacoustic oscillations in the flaring active region. The lack of a significant phase shift between wiggles of different stripes suggests that the ZP wiggles are caused by a standing sausage oscillation.

  10. Sobre la validez taxonómica de Epithemia Zebra var. Elongata (Epithemiaceae, Bacillariophyceae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriela Gorritti

    2000-01-01

    Full Text Available Gorritti, G., Sala, S. E. & Guerrero, J. M. 2000. Sobre la validez taxonómica de Epithemiazebra var. elongata (Epithemiaceae, Bacillariophyceae. Darwiniana 38(3-4: 285-289.Se revisaron materiales de Epithemia zebra var. elongata Grunow ex Frenguelli para establecer lavalidez de este taxón. Se estudiaron con microscopio óptico y electrónico de barrido, ejemplares de lacolección Frenguelli y otros recientemente coleccionados en Tierra del Fuego . El análisis de la variaciónpoblacional de los caracteres morfológicos y morfométricos, y la comparación con los taxones afines:Epithemia adnata (Kützing Brébisson y E. adnata var. minor (Peragallo & Héribaud Patrick, demostróque no existen diferencias entre ellos por lo que E. zebra var. elongata debe ser considerada sinónimo deE. adnata

  11. Involvement of Apoptosis in Host-Parasite Interactions in the Zebra Mussel

    OpenAIRE

    Laëtitia Minguez; Nelly Brulé; Bénédicte Sohm; Simon Devin; Laure Giambérini

    2013-01-01

    International audience; The question of whether cell death by apoptosis plays a biological function during infection is key to understanding host-parasite interactions. We investigated the involvement of apoptosis in several host-parasite systems, using zebra mussels Dreissena polymorpha as test organisms and their micro-and macroparasites. As a stress response associated with parasitism, heat shock proteins (Hsp) can be induced. In this protein family, Hsp70 are known to be apoptosis inhibit...

  12. ZEBRA TECHNOLOGIE揭开HF和UHF RRD的神秘面纱

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    作为无线射频识别(RFID)技术的行业先锋.Zebra Technologies Corporation(纳斯达克股票代码为.ZBRA)日前宣布.其已在网站上发布了最新的学习资源.旨在帮助企业更深刻地了解RFID技术.从而做出更明智的选择。

  13. The Zebra Battery: a South African contender for electric vehicle application

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Coertzer

    1996-07-01

    Full Text Available The Zebra battery is one of the most promising power sources for electric vehicles which might be on sale before the year 2000. It is a South African development which started at the CSIR and is at present jointly managed by the Anglo American Corpora­tion of S.A. and the German company A.E.G. The chemical reaction converts common salt and nickel to nickel chloride and sodium during the charging phase.

  14. Genetic and phenoptypic differentiation of zebra mussel populations colonizing Spanish river basins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarro, Anna; Sánchez-Fontenla, Javier; Cordero, David; Faria, Melisa; Peña, Juan B; Saavedra, Carlos; Blázquez, Mercedes; Ruíz, Olga; Ureña, Rocío; Torreblanca, Amparo; Barata, Carlos; Piña, Benjamin

    2013-07-01

    Zebra mussel populations in Ebro and Mijares Rivers (northern Spain) were analyzed to study the mechanisms by which this aquatic species deals with pollution. Variability analyses of mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I gene and of one nuclear microsatellite were performed for ten populations from the Ebro River and one from the Mijares River. Comparison of these results with those from five additional European populations indicated that the Spanish populations constitute a homogeneous gene pool. Transcriptome analyses of gill samples from a subset of the Spanish populations showed changes on expression levels that correlated with variations in general fitness and loads of heavy metals. The less polluted upstream Ebro populations showed overexpression of mitochondrial and cell proliferation-related genes compared to the more polluted, downstream Ebro populations. Our data indicate that heavy metals were the main factors explaining these transcriptomic patterns, and that zebra mussel is resilient to pollutants (like mercury and organochlorine compounds) proved to be extremely toxic to vertebrates. We propose that zebra mussel populations sharing a common gene pool may acclimate to different levels and forms of pollution through modulations in their transcriptomic profile, although direct selection on genes showing differential expression patterns cannot be ruled out.

  15. Batteries: An Advanced Na-FeCl2 ZEBRA Battery for Stationary Energy Storage Application

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, Guosheng; Lu, Xiaochuan; Kim, Jin Yong; Viswanathan, Vilayanur V.; Meinhardt, Kerry D.; Engelhard, Mark H.; Sprenkle, Vincent L.

    2015-06-17

    Sodium-metal chloride batteries, ZEBRA, are considered as one of the most important electrochemical devices for stationary energy storage applications because of its advantages of good cycle life, safety, and reliability. However, sodium-nickel chloride (Na-NiCl2) batteries, the most promising redox chemistry in ZEBRA batteries, still face great challenges for the practical application due to its inevitable feature of using Ni cathode (high materials cost). In this work, a novel intermediate-temperature sodium-iron chloride (Na-FeCl2) battery using a molten sodium anode and Fe cathode is proposed and demonstrated. The first use of unique sulfur-based additives in Fe cathode enables Na-FeCl2 batteries can be assembled in the discharged state and operated at intermediate-temperature (<200°C). The results in this work demonstrate that intermediate-temperature Na-FeCl2 battery technology could be a propitious solution for ZEBRA battery technologies by replacing the traditional Na-NiCl2 chemistry.

  16. Investigation of Acute Toxicity Diazinon, Deltamethrin, Butachlor and pretilachlor on Zebra Cichlid (Cryptoheros nigrofasciatus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ali Sadeghi

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Background: The presence of pesticide due to the huge demand for agricultural purposes is very prevalent in surface waters of Iran. These pesticides could finally accumulate in aquatic ecosystems and have been proved to have toxic effects on aquatic animals. The aim of this study was to assess the acute toxicity of Diazinon, Deltamethrin, Butachlor and Pretilachlor on Zebra Cichlid (Cryptoheros nigrofasciatus. Methods: Fish samples were exposed to different concentrations of Diazinon (60% (0, 2, 4, 8, 16 and 32 ppm, Deltamethrin (2.5% (0, 0.02, 0.04, 0.10, 0.20 and 0.40 ppm, butachlor (60% (0, 2, 4, 8, 16 and 32 ppm and pretilachlor (50% (0, 5, 10, 20, 30 and 40 ppm for 96 h within the 100 L glass aquaria and cumulative mortality of Zebra Cichlid fish was calculated in 24-h interval. Results: The very low LC50 obtained for diazinon (5.06±0.37 ppm, deltamethrin (0.15±0.39 ppm, butachlor (8.93±0.26 ppm and pretilachlor (20.72±0.58 ppm indicated that these are highly toxic chemicals. Conclusion: Our results demonstrate that deltamethrin and pretilachlor had the lowest and highest rate of mortality on the Zebra Cichlid respectively.

  17. Modulation of antioxidant defense and immune response in zebra fish (Danio rerio) using dietary sodium propionate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Safari, Roghieh; Hoseinifar, Seyed Hossein; Kavandi, Morteza

    2016-12-01

    The present study explores the effect of dietary sodium propionate on mucosal immune response and expression of antioxidant enzyme genes in zebra fish (Danio rerio). Six hundred healthy zebra fish (0.42 ± 0.06 g) supplied, randomly stocked in 12 aquariums and fed on basal diets supplemented with different levels of sodium propionate [0 (control), 5, 10 and 20 g kg(-1)] for 8 weeks. At the end of the feeding trial, mucosal immune parameters (TNF-α, IL-1β, Lyz), antioxidant enzyme (SOD, CAT) as well as heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) gene expression were measured. The results revealed feeding on sodium propionate significantly up-regulated inflammatory response genes (TNF-α, IL-1β, Lyz) in a dose-dependent manner (P fish fed the basal diet and deceased with elevation of sodium propionate levels in the diet. These results showed beneficial effects of dietary sodium propionate on mucosal immune response as well as the antioxidant defense of zebra fish.

  18. Zebra Alphaherpesviruses (EHV-1 and EHV-9: Genetic Diversity, Latency and Co-Infections

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Azza Abdelgawad

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Alphaherpesviruses are highly prevalent in equine populations and co-infections with more than one of these viruses’ strains frequently diagnosed. Lytic replication and latency with subsequent reactivation, along with new episodes of disease, can be influenced by genetic diversity generated by spontaneous mutation and recombination. Latency enhances virus survival by providing an epidemiological strategy for long-term maintenance of divergent strains in animal populations. The alphaherpesviruses equine herpesvirus 1 (EHV-1 and 9 (EHV-9 have recently been shown to cross species barriers, including a recombinant EHV-1 observed in fatal infections of a polar bear and Asian rhinoceros. Little is known about the latency and genetic diversity of EHV-1 and EHV-9, especially among zoo and wild equids. Here, we report evidence of limited genetic diversity in EHV-9 in zebras, whereas there is substantial genetic variability in EHV-1. We demonstrate that zebras can be lytically and latently infected with both viruses concurrently. Such a co-occurrence of infection in zebras suggests that even relatively slow-evolving viruses such as equine herpesviruses have the potential to diversify rapidly by recombination. This has potential consequences for the diagnosis of these viruses and their management in wild and captive equid populations.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1989-01-01

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

  20. Simple Approaches to Improve the Automatic Inventory of ZEBRA Crossing from Mls Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arias, P.; Riveiro, B.; Soilán, M.; Díaz-Vilariño, L.; Martínez-Sánchez, J.

    2015-08-01

    The city management is increasingly supported by information technologies, leading to paradigms such as smart cities, where decision-makers, companies and citizens are continuously interconnected. 3D modelling turns of great relevance when the city has to be managed making use of geospatial databases or Geographic Information Systems. On the other hand, laser scanning technology has experienced a significant growth in the last years, and particularly, terrestrial mobile laser scanning platforms are being more and more used with inventory purposes in both cities and road environments. Consequently, large datasets are available to produce the geometric basis for the city model; however, this data is not directly exploitable by management systems constraining the implementation of the technology for such applications. This paper presents a new algorithm for the automatic detection of zebra crossing. The algorithm is divided in three main steps: road segmentation (based on a PCA analysis of the points contained in each cycle of collected by a mobile laser system), rasterization (conversion of the point cloud to a raster image coloured as a function of intensity data), and zebra crossing detection (using the Hough Transform and logical constrains for line classification). After evaluating different datasets collected in three cities located in Northwest Spain (comprising 25 strips with 30 visible zebra crossings) a completeness of 83% was achieved.

  1. Ecological speciation in Darwin's finches: Parsing the effects of magic traits

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jeffrey PODOS; Rie DYBBOE; Mads Ole JENSEN

    2013-01-01

    Many recent studies of ecological speciation have focused on "magic trait" scenarios,in which divergent selection on viability traits leads inextricably to corresponding divergence in mechanisms,especially mate recognition systems,that facilitate assortative mating.Speciation however may also proceed via other scenarios,such as when populations experience directly selected or random divergence in mate recognition systems.The relative contributions of magic trait versus other scenarios for speciation remain virtually unexplored.The present study aims to test the relative contribution of the magic trait scenario in the divergence of populations of the medium ground finch Geospiza fortis of Santa Cruz Island,Galapagos.First,we assess differences in G.fortis song between a northern population (Borrero Bay) and a southeastern population (El Garrapatero),differences that we propose (along with other within-island geographic song variations) have arisen via scenarios that do not involve a magic trait scenario.Pairwise comparisons of raw and composite (PC) song parameters,as well as discriminant functions analyses,reveal significant patterns of song divergence between sites.Second,we test the ability of territorial males at Borrero Bay to discriminate songs from the two sites.We find that G fortis males can discriminate within-island song variants,responding more strongly to local than to "foreign" songs,along 3 raw and 1 composite response measures.Third,we compare these findings to prior data sets on song divergence and discrimination in Santa Cruz G.fortis.These comparisons suggest that song divergence and discrimination are shaped less strongly by geographic sources than by morphological (beak-related) sources.We thus argue that interpopulation song divergence and discrimination,fundamental elements of assortative mating in Darwin's finches,can be fostered in early stages of divergence under magic trait as well as alternative scenarios for speciation,but with more

  2. Stoichiometric constraints do not limit successful invaders: zebra mussels in Swedish lakes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rahmat Naddafi

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Elemental imbalances of carbon (C: nitrogen (N: phosphorus (P ratios in food resources can constrain the growth of grazers owning to tight coupling between growth rate, RNA allocation and biomass P content in animals. Testing for stoichiometric constraints among invasive species is a novel challenge in invasion ecology to unravel how a successful invader tackles ecological barriers in novel ecosystems. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We examined the C:P and N:P ratios and the condition factor of a successful invader in lakes, the zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha, collected from two Swedish lakes. Concurrently, we analyzed the elemental composition of the food (seston and tissue of the mussels in which nutrient composition of food and mussels varied over time. Zebra mussel condition factor was weakly related to the their own tissue N:P and C:P ratios, although the relation with the later ratio was not significant. Smaller mussels had relatively lower tissue N:P ratio and higher condition factor. There was no difference in C:P and N:P ratios between seston and mussels' tissues. Our results indicated that the variation in nutrient stoichiometry of zebra mussels can be explained by food quality and quantity. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our study suggests that fitness of invasive zebra mussels is not constrained by nutrient stoichiometry which is likely to be important for their proliferation in novel ecosystems. The lack of imbalance in C:P and N:P ratios between seston and mussels along with high tissue C:P ratio of the mussel allow them to tolerate potential P limitation and maintain high growth rate. Moreover, zebra mussels are able to change their tissue C:P and N:P ratios in response to the variation in elemental composition of their food. This can also help them to bypass potential nutrient stoichiometric constraints. Our finding is an important step towards understanding the mechanisms contributing to the success of exotic species

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-03-08

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

  4. Genomic variation at the tips of the adaptive radiation of Darwin's finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaves, Jaime A; Cooper, Elizabeth A; Hendry, Andrew P; Podos, Jeffrey; De León, Luis F; Raeymaekers, Joost A M; MacMillan, W Owen; Uy, J Albert C

    2016-11-01

    Adaptive radiation unfolds as selection acts on the genetic variation underlying functional traits. The nature of this variation can be revealed by studying the tips of an ongoing adaptive radiation. We studied genomic variation at the tips of the Darwin's finch radiation; specifically focusing on polymorphism within, and variation among, three sympatric species of the genus Geospiza. Using restriction site-associated DNA (RAD-seq), we characterized 32 569 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), from which 11 outlier SNPs for beak and body size were uncovered by a genomewide association study (GWAS). Principal component analysis revealed that these 11 SNPs formed four statistically linked groups. Stepwise regression then revealed that the first PC score, which included 6 of the 11 top SNPs, explained over 80% of the variation in beak size, suggesting that selection on these traits influences multiple correlated loci. The two SNPs most strongly associated with beak size were near genes associated with beak morphology across deeper branches of the radiation: delta-like 1 homologue (DLK1) and high-mobility group AT-hook 2 (HMGA2). Our results suggest that (i) key adaptive traits are associated with a small fraction of the genome (11 of 32 569 SNPs), (ii) SNPs linked to the candidate genes are dispersed throughout the genome (on several chromosomes), and (iii) micro- and macro-evolutionary variation (roots and tips of the radiation) involve some shared and some unique genomic regions. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. VizieR Online Data Catalog: URAT Parallax Catalog (UPC) (Finch+, 2016)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finch, C. T.; Zacharias, N.

    2016-04-01

    The URAT Parallax Catalog (UPC) consists of 112177 parallaxes. The catalog utilizes all Northern Hemisphere epoch data from the United States Naval Observatory (USNO) Robotic Astrometric Telescope (URAT). This data includes all individual exposures from April 2012 to June 2015 giving a larger epoch baseline for determining parallaxes over the 2-year span of the First USNO Robotic Astrometric Telescope Catalog (URAT1) (Zacharias et al., 2015, Cat. I/329) published data. The URAT parallax pipeline is custom code that utilizes routines from (Jao, C.-W., 2004, PhD thesis Georgia Stat), the JPL DE405 ephemeris and Green's parallax factor (Green, R.M., 1985, Spherical Astronomy) for determining parallaxes from a weighted least-squares reduction. The relative parallaxes have been corrected to absolute by using the distance color relation described in (Finch et. al, 2014, Cat. J/AJ/148/119) to determine a mean distance of all UCAC4 reference stars (R=8-16 mag) used in the astrometric reductions. Presented here are all significant parallaxes from the URAT Northern Hemisphere epoch data comprising of 2 groups: a) URAT parallax results for stars with prior published parallax, and b) first time trigonometric parallaxes as obtained from URAT data of stars without prior published parallax. Note, more stringent selection criteria have been applied to the second group than the first in order to keep the rate of false detections low. For specific information about the astrometric reductions please see 'The First U.S. Naval Observatory Robotic Astrometric Telescope Catalog' published paper (Zacharias et al., 2015AJ....150..101Z, Cat. I/329). For complete details regarding the parallax pipeline please see 'Parallax Results From URAT Epoch Data' (Finch and Zacharias, 2016, AJ, in press). This catalog gives all positions on the ICRS at Epoch J2014.0; it covers the magnitude range 6.56 to 16.93 in the URAT band-pass, with an average parallax precision of 4.3mas for stars having no known

  6. Humoral response of captive zebra sharks Stegostoma fasciatum to salivary gland proteins of the leech Branchellion torpedinis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marancik, David P; Leary, John H; Fast, Mark M; Flajnik, Martin F; Camus, Alvin C

    2012-10-01

    Parasitism by the marine leech Branchellion torpedinis is known to cause disease and mortality in captive elasmobranchs and is difficult to control when inadvertently introduced into public aquaria. Preliminary characterization of the salivary gland transcriptome of B. torpedinis has identified anticoagulants, proteases, and immunomodulators that may be secreted into host tissues to aid leech feeding. This retrospective study examined antigen-specific serum IgM responses in captive zebra sharks Stegostoma fasciatum to leech salivary gland extract. Antibody response was examined by ELISA and Western blot assays in 20 serum samples from six zebra sharks, with a 5 year history of leech infection, and 18 serum samples from 8 captive bred zebra sharks, with no history of leech exposure. ELISA demonstrated significantly higher serum IgM titers to salivary gland extract in exposed zebra sharks compared to the non-exposed population. No obvious trends in antibody titers were appreciated in exposed zebra sharks over a four-year period. One-dimensional and two-dimensional Western blot assays revealed IgM targeted specific salivary gland proteins within the 40, 55, 70 and 90 kD range. Antigenic proteins identified by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry and de novo peptide sequencing include a secreted disintegrin, metalloproteinase and thrombospondin motif containing protein (ADAMTS), tubulin, aldehyde dehydrogenase and two unknown proteins. Humoral immune responses to leech salivary gland proteins warrants further investigation as there may be options to exploit immune mechanisms to reduce parasite burdens in aquaria.

  7. Bioassessment of mercury, cadmium, polychlorinated biphenyls, and pesticides in the upper Mississippi River with zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cope, W. Gregory; Bartsch, Michelle; Rada, Ronald G.; Balogh, Steven J.; Rupprecht, John E.; Young, R. David; Johnson, D. Kent

    1999-01-01

    Zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) were sampled from artificial substrates deployed from May 30 to October 19, 1995, at 19 locks and dams from Minneapolis, MN, to Muscatine, IA. Analyses of composite tissue samples of zebra mussels (10-20-mm length) revealed accumulation of mercury(Hg), cadmium (Cd), and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) during a 143-d exposure period. Concentrations of total Hg ranged from 2.6 to 6.1 ng/g wet weight and methylmercury (CH3Hg) from 1.0 to 3.3 ng/g wet weight. About 50% (range 30-70%) of the mean total Hg in zebra mussels was CH3Hg. Cadmium ranged from 76 to 213 ng/g wet weight. Concentrations of total PCBs (Aroclor 1254) in zebra mussels varied longitudinally (range 1000-7330 ng/g lipid weight), but the composition of PCB congeners (total of 21 measured) was similar throughout the river. Chlordane and dieldrin were the only two pesticides detected of the 15 analyzed. Zebra mussels are sentinels of contaminant bioavailability in the Upper Mississippi River and may be an important link in the trophic transfer of contaminants in the river because of their increasing importance in the diets of certain fish and waterfowl.

  8. Induction of Epstein-Barr Virus Lytic Replication by Recombinant Adenoviruses Expressing the Zebra Gene with EBV Specific Promoters

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Lu CHEN; Juan YIN; Yi CHEN; Jiang ZHONG

    2005-01-01

    The latent Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is found in the cells of many tumors. For example, EBV is detectable in almost all cases, and in almost all tumor cells, of non-keratinizing nasopharyngeal carcinoma.Activating the latent virus, which will result in its lytic replication and the death of tumor cells, is a potential approach for the treatment of EBV-associated cancers. In this study, three recombinant adenoviruses were constructed to express the Zebra gene, an EBV gene responsible for switching from the latent state to lytic replication. EBV-specific promoters were used in order to limit Zebra expression in EBV-positive cells, and reduce the potential side effects. The EBV promoters used were Cp, Zp and a dual promoter combining both promoters, CpZp. The Zebra protein was detected in HEK293 cells as well as the EBV-positive D98-HR1 cells infected with recombinant viruses. An EBV lytic replication early antigen, EA-D, was also detected in infected D98-HR1, implying the initiation of lytic replication. In the cell viability assay, Zebra-expressing adenoviruses had little effect on EBV-negative HeLa cells, while significantly reducing the cell viability and proliferation of D98-HR1 cells. The results indicate that EBV virus promoters can be used in adenovirus vectors to express the Zebra gene and induce EBV lytic replication in D98-HR1 cells.

  9. A Cryptic Invasion in the Western Atlantic: Presence of the Fouling Barnacle Megabalanus zebra (Darwin, 1854) (Crustacea, Cirripedia) in the Caribbean Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pitombo, Fabio Bettini; Gobin, Judith; Abreu, Nivia Maria Nunes; Jute, Alana

    2017-02-26

    The barnacle Megabalanus zebra is largely known from ship hulls, with little information on its biology, ecology, and natural range. We identify M. zebra here from the southern Caribbean, based upon specimens collected as early as 2002. Challenges associated with identifying megabalinine species have delayed recognition of this species as distinct from other Caribbean Megabalanus. Sequenced material of M. zebra from Curaçao did not match M. zebra GenBank sequences that could be verified by descriptions or vouchered material. The presence of young M. zebra on vessels that have not left the Caribbean, as well as on pier pilings and resident buoys, indicate that this species is established in the tropical Western Atlantic Ocean, but the timing of its invasion remains unknown.

  10. Summer feeding ecology of Great Pampa-finches, Embernagra platensis at Laguna de Guaminí, Buenos Aires, Argentina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura M. Ferman

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to assemble data on the summer feeding ecology of the Great Pampa-finch, Embernagra platensis at the Laguna de Guaminí, Buenos Aires, Argentina, and to explore the differences related to the dietary patterns for each sex between winter and summer when possible. The stomach contents of 43 birds were analyzed. The animal fraction was composed of Hymenoptera (45.1%, Coleoptera (32.4%, Lepidoptera (6.0%, Araneae (5% and Orthoptera (3.2%. The application of the index of relative importance (IRI resulted in 1490.4 for Coleoptera, 428.5 for Hymenoptera and 162.5 for Lepidoptera caterpillars. The vegetal fraction consisted of Triticum aestivum (26.9%, Cyperaceous (25%, Poaceae (Gramineae (19.3% and Panicum sp. (11.2%. The IRI values were 893.8 for Triticum aestivum, 174.5 for Gramineae, 126.5 for Panicum sp. and 112.8 for Scirpus sp. The food niche width was 0.33 for both sexes; the diversity index resulted in 1.06 for females and 1.33 for males and specific diversity ranged from 1.87 to 2.84. A canonical component analysis (CCA was performed on environmental and morphometric variables, and a Monte Carlo test confirmed the canonical correlations. A t-test showed that some birds harmonized with a logarithmic model and some with a geometric curve. During the summer, Embernagra platensis ingests Hymenoptera and Coleoptera more often than seeds, suggesting that two biological mechanisms could be taking place in this bird.O objetivo deste estudo foi reunir dados referentes à ecologia alimentar do Sabiá-do-banhado, Embernagra platensis, na laguna de Guaminí, Buenos Aires, Argentina, e explorar as diferenças relacionadas aos padrões dietéticos para cada sexo entre inverno e verão, quando possível. O conteúdo estomacal de 43 pássaros foi analisado. A fração animal foi composta por Hymenoptera (45,1%, Coleoptera (32,4%, Lepidoptera(6,0%, Araneae (5% e Orthoptera (3,2%. A aplicação do índice de importância relativa (IRI

  11. Zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) limit food for larval fish (Pimephales promelas) in turbulent systems: A bioenergetics analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartsch, L.A.; Richardson, W.B.; Sandheinrich, M.B.

    2003-01-01

    We conducted a factorial experiment, in outdoor mesocosms, on the effects of zebra mussels and water column mixing (i.e., turbulence) on the diet, growth, and survival of larval fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas). Significant (P zebra mussels, whereas mortality was 37% in treatment with turbulence and 17% and 18% in the zebra mussels treatment, and the control, respectively. The size of individual fish was significantly different among treatments at the end of the experiment and was inversely related to survival. Levels of trophic resources (i.e., phyto and zooplankton) varied among treatments and were treatment specific. Turbulent mixing facilitated removal of phytoplankton by zebra mussels by making the entire water column of the tanks available to these benthic filter feeders. Early in the experiment (Day = 0 to 14) the physical process of turbulent mixing likely caused a reduction in standing stocks of zooplankton. The interactive effect of turbulence and mussels reduced copepod and rotifer stocks, through physical processes and through filtration by zebra mussels, relative to the turbulence treatment. The reductions in the number of total zooplankton in the turbulent mixing mesocosms and the further reduction of rotifer and copepod in the turbulence and mussels treatment coincided with a period of increased reliance of larval fathead minnows on these prey. Estimates of consumption from bioenergetics modeling and measured prey standing stocks indicated caloric resources of suitable prey in turbulence treatments during the early weeks of the experiment were insufficient to prevent starvation. Early mortality in the turbulence and mussels treatment likely released surviving fish from intense intraspecific competition and resulted in higher individual growth rates. A combination of high abundance of zebra mussels in an environment with a well-mixed water column can have significant effects on larval fish survival and growth.

  12. Avian evolution: from Darwin's finches to a new way of thinking about avian forebrain organization and behavioural capabilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reiner, Anton

    2009-02-23

    The study of birds, especially the Galapagos finches, was important to Darwin in the development of the theory of evolution by natural selection. Birds have also been at the centre of a recent reformulation in understanding cerebral evolution and the substrates for higher cognition. While it was once thought that birds possess a simple cerebrum and were thus limited to instinctive behaviours, it is now clear that birds possess a well-developed cerebrum that looks very different from the mammalian cerebrum but can support a cognitive ability that for some avian species rivals that in primates.

  13. Female circumcision.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abu Daia, J M

    2000-10-01

    It is uncertain when female circumcision was first practiced, but it certainly preceded the founding of both Christianity and Islam. A review of past and current historical, popular and professional literature was undertaken, and 4 types of female circumcision were identified. Typically female circumcision is performed by a local village practitioner, lay person or by untrained midwives. Female genital mutilation is not accepted by any religious or medical opinion, and is a violation of human rights against helpless individuals who are unable to provide informed consent and who must therefore be protected through education and legislation. Complications of female circumcision can present after many years. Any medical practitioner (either for adult or pediatric) can be confronted with this issue of female circumcision, even in countries where this custom is not present, thus mandating the understanding of this complex issue.

  14. Female epispadias

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M V Krishna Shetty

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Isolated female epispadias without bladder exstrophy is an extremely rare congenital anomaly. The symptoms of female epispadias are primary urinary incontinence and abnormal anatomical features. A 7-year-old girl presented with partial incontinence of urine. On physical examination, bifid clitoris and labia minora were seen. The vagina and hymen were normal. Voiding cystourethrogram showed no reflux. With the diagnosis of isolated female epispadias, single stage reconstruction of the urethra, labia minora and clitoris was performed.

  15. Temperature and Ca2+-dependence of the sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2(+)-ATPase in haddock, salmon, rainbow trout and zebra cichlid

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Godiksen, Helene; Jessen, Flemming

    2002-01-01

    in the enzyme or its membrane lipid environment is still a matter of discussion. In this study we compared the temperature dependence and Ca2+-dependence of SR Ca2+-ATPase in haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus), salmon (Salmo, salar), rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and zebra cichlid (Cichlasoma...... nigrofasciatum). The Arrhenius plot of zebra cichlid showed a break point at 20 degreesC, and the haddock Arrhenius plot was non-linear with pronounced changes in slope in the. temperature area, 6-14 degreesC. In Arrhenius plot from both salmon and rainbow trout a plateau exists with an almost constant SR Ca2...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rusznak, L.; Smolik, N.; Hale, L.; Freymark, S. [Ashland Chemical Company, Drew Division, Boonton, NJ (United States)

    1995-06-01

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

  17. Toxicity and cytopathogenic properties toward human melanoma cells of activated cancer therapeutics in zebra fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, Thomas J

    2010-03-01

    There is an increasing body of data showing that activated cancer therapy--the synergistic effect of "preloaded" molecules and a tuned energy source to produce cytopathogenic moieties--is a promising new modality for cancer treatment. The key activated therapies are photodynamic therapy (PDT), which involves the synergy between light and photosensitizer molecules, and ultrasound activated therapy (USAT; also referred to as sonodynamic therapy), which involves the synergy between ultrasound and sonosensitizer molecules. PDT is a well-known activated therapy with roots dating back to 1900. However, minimal data exist on USAT. One reason is the lack of suitable sonosensitizers for clinical USAT use. The authors present both LC(50) toxicity and cancer cell cytotoxicity studies on 2 dual activation agents. These compounds function as both sonosensitizers and photosensitizers, and are referred to as SonneLux agents, designated SF1 and SF2. The sensitizers are derived from chlorophyll and are metal centered porphyrins known to specifically accumulate in hyperproliferating tissue. LC(50) studies on both SF1 and SF2 as determined in zebra fish reveal that both are essentially nontoxic to zebra fish. In the worst case, 5% zebra fish death is noted at the maximum soluble concentration of the sensitizer. In the cytotoxicity studies, melanoma cell line WM-266-4, derived from a metastatic site of a malignant melanoma, was tested against SF1 and SF2. Both sensitizer systems showed marked efficacy in the destruction of the implanted melanoma cells. They show great promise for clinical use in the future.

  18. Analysis of an ankyrin-like region in Epstein Barr Virus encoded (EBV BZLF-1 (ZEBRA protein: implications for interactions with NF-κB and p53

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ghoda Lucy Y

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The carboxyl terminal of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV ZEBRA protein (also termed BZLF-1 encoded replication protein Zta or ZEBRA binds to both NF-κB and p53. The authors have previously suggested that this interaction results from an ankyrin-like region of the ZEBRA protein since ankyrin proteins such as IκB interact with NF-κB and p53 proteins. These interactions may play a role in immunopathology and viral carcinogenesis in B lymphocytes as well as other cell types transiently infected by EBV such as T lymphocytes, macrophages and epithelial cells. Methods Randomization of the ZEBRA terminal amino acid sequence followed by statistical analysis suggest that the ZEBRA carboxyl terminus is most closely related to ankyrins of the invertebrate cactus IκB-like protein. This observation is consistent with an ancient origin of ZEBRA resulting from a recombination event between an ankyrin regulatory protein and a fos/jun DNA binding factor. In silico modeling of the partially solved ZEBRA carboxyl terminus structure using PyMOL software demonstrate that the carboxyl terminus region of ZEBRA can form a polymorphic structure termed ZANK (ZEBRA ANKyrin-like region similar to two adjacent IκB ankyrin domains. Conclusions Viral capture of an ankyrin-like domain provides a mechanism for ZEBRA binding to proteins in the NF-κB and p53 transcription factor families, and also provides support for a process termed "Ping-Pong Evolution" in which DNA viruses such as EBV are formed by exchange of information with the host genome. An amino acid polymorphism in the ZANK region is identified in ZEBRA from tumor cell lines including Akata that could alter binding of Akata ZEBRA to the p53 tumor suppressor and other ankyrin binding protein, and a novel model of antagonistic binding interactions between ZANK and the DNA binding regions of ZEBRA is suggested that may be explored in further biochemical and molecular biological models of viral

  19. Infection with Mycoplasma gallisepticum buffers the effects of acute stress on innate immunity in house finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fratto, Melanie; Ezenwa, Vanessa O; Davis, Andrew K

    2014-01-01

    When wild animals become infected, they still must cope with the rigors of daily life, and, thus, they still can be exposed to acute stressors. The suite of physiological responses to acute stress includes modifying the innate immune system, but infections can also cause similar changes. We examined the effects of an acute stressor (capture stress) on leukocyte abundance and bacteria-killing ability (BKA) in wild birds (house finches Haemorhous mexicanus) with and without a naturally occurring infection (Mycoplasma gallisepticum) to determine whether infection alters the typical immune response to stress. Birds were captured and bled within 3 min (baseline sample) and then held in paper bags for 2 h and bled again (stress sample). From blood smears made at both time points, we obtained estimates of total white blood cell (WBC) counts and relative numbers of each cell. We also measured BKA of plasma at both time points. In uninfected birds (n = 26), total WBC count decreased by 30% over time, while in infected birds (n = 9), it decreased by 6%. Relative numbers of heterophils did not change over time in uninfected birds but increased in infected birds. Combined with a reduction in lymphocyte numbers, this led to a threefold increase in heterophil-lymphocyte values in infected birds after the stressor, compared to a twofold increase in uninfected birds. There was a nonsignificant tendency for BKA to decline with stress in uninfected birds but not in diseased birds. Collectively, these results suggest that infections can buffer the negative effects of acute stress on innate immunity.

  20. Subspecific variation in sperm morphology and performance in the Long-tailed Finch (Poephila acuticauda)

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Melissah Rowe; Simon C.Griffith; Antje Hofgaard; Jan T.Lifjeld

    2015-01-01

    Background: Evolutionary biology endeavours to explain biological diversity,and as such it is critical to develop an understanding of the adaptive and functional significance of trait variation.Spermatozoa exhibit remarkable levels of morphological diversification.However,our understanding of the evolutionary causes and functional significance of this variation is limited,especially at the intraspecific level.Methods: We quantified variation in sperm morphology and performance between two subspecies of Long-tailed Finch(Poephila acuticauda acuticauda and P.a.hecki),a small grassfinch found in tropical northern Australia.Despite a zone of secondary contact,these subspecies are maintained as two distinct forms: P.a.acuticauda occurs in the western part of the species’ range and has a yellow bill,while P.a.hecki exhibits a red bill and is found in the eastern part of the range.Results: We found small,but significant differences in sperm size between these subspecies(P.a.acuticauda had longer and narrower sperm than P.a.hecki),which was surprising given the recent evolutionary origins of these two taxa(i.e.0.3 million years ago).Additionally,both subspecies exhibited high values of between- and within-male variation in sperm morphology,though in the case of sperm midpiece length this variation was significantly lower in P.a.acuticauda relative to P.a.hecki.Conclusions: We suggest these observed differences in sperm morphology are the result of genetic drift and reflect historical processes associated with divergence between the eastern and western populations of these two subspecies.Finally,we discuss the potential implications of our findings for the process of population divergence and reproductive isolation.

  1. Use of alternating and pulsed direct current electrified fields for zebra mussel control

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luoma, James A.; Dean, Jan C.; Severson, Todd J.; Wise, Jeremy K.; Barbour, Matthew

    2017-01-01

    Alternatives to chemicals for controlling dreissenid mussels are desirable for environmental compatibility, but few alternatives exist. Previous studies have evaluated the use of electrified fields for stunning and/or killing planktonic life stages of dreissenid mussels, however, the available literature on the use of electrified fields to control adult dreissenid mussels is limited. We evaluated the effects of sinusoidal alternating current (AC) and 20% duty cycle square-wave pulsed direct current (PDC) exposure on the survival of adult zebra mussels at water temperatures of 10, 15, and 22 °C. Peak voltage gradients of ~ 17 and 30 Vp/cm in the AC and PDC exposures, respectively, were continuously applied for 24, 48, or 72 h. Peak power densities ranged from 77,999 to 107,199 µW/cm3 in the AC exposures and 245,320 to 313,945 µW/cm3 in the PDC exposures. The peak dose ranged from 6,739 to 27,298 Joules/cm3 and 21,306 to 80,941 Joules/cm3 in the AC and PDC exposures, respectively. The applied power ranged from 16.6 to 68.9 kWh in the AC exposures and from 22.2 to 86.4 kWh in the PDC exposures. Mortality ranged from 2.7 to 92.7% in the AC exposed groups and from 24.0 to 98.7% in PDC exposed groups. Mortality increased with corresponding increases in water temperature and exposure duration, and we observed more zebra mussel mortality in the PDC exposures. Exposures conducted with AC required less of a peak dose (Joules/cm3) but more applied power (kWh) to achieve the same level of adult zebra mussel mortality as corresponding PDC exposures. The results demonstrate that 20% duty cycle square-wave PDC requires less energy than sinusoidal AC to inducing the same level of adult zebra mussel mortality.

  2. Body temperatures and associated postures of the zebra-tailed lizard, Callisaurus draconoides

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Muth, A.

    1977-01-01

    Body temperature and associated postures of the zebra-tailed lizard, Callisaurus draconoides, were examined in the field and laboratory. Three distinct postures are described: prostrate, tail-down and elevated. The mean body temperatures of the respective postures in the field were: 33.9, 40.5 and 42.7 C. In the laboratory, heating rates were greatest for the prostrate posture and least for the elevated posture. Body temperatures and heating rates are significantly correlated with posture. These correlations suggest that the postures are associated with behavioral thermoregulation in the field.

  3. Current Status of Health and Safety Issues of Sodium/Metal Chloride (Zebra) Batteries

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Trickett, D.

    1998-12-15

    This report addresses environmental, health, and safety (EH&S) issues associated with sodium/ metal chloride batteries, in general, although most references to specific cell or battery types refer to units developed or being developed under the Zebra trademark. The report focuses on issues pertinent to sodium/metal chloride batteries and their constituent components; however, the fact that some ''issues'' arise from interaction between electric vehicle (EV) and battery design compels occasional discussion amid the context of EV vehicle design and operation. This approach has been chosen to provide a reasonably comprehensive account of the topic from a cell technology perspective and an applications perspective.

  4. PERBANDINGAN KECEPATAN PEMBIUSAN DAN RECOVERY IKAN HIAS ZEBRA JAKARTA MENGGUNAKAN SIANIDA DAN MINYAK CENGKEH

    OpenAIRE

    Wahyu Andy Nugraha; I Insafitri

    2010-01-01

    This research aimed to compare the stunning time and recovery time of reef fish Zebra Jakarta. Sianida and clove oil was used as anaesthetic agent in this experiment. Both substances used concentration of 5 ppm. 5 fish was used in each concentration. Fish was exposed to each concentration one by one and once fish undergo in total loss of equilibrium, time was recorded. Fish then tranferred to recovery tank contained fresh aerated sea water. Once fish recovered, time was recorded. Result shows tha...

  5. Sobre la validez taxonómica de Epithemia Zebra var. Elongata (Epithemiaceae, Bacillariophyceae)

    OpenAIRE

    Gabriela Gorritti; Sala, Silvia E.; José M. Guerrero

    2000-01-01

    Gorritti, G., Sala, S. E. & Guerrero, J. M. 2000. Sobre la validez taxonómica de Epithemiazebra var. elongata (Epithemiaceae, Bacillariophyceae). Darwiniana 38(3-4): 285-289.Se revisaron materiales de Epithemia zebra var. elongata Grunow ex Frenguelli para establecer lavalidez de este taxón. Se estudiaron con microscopio óptico y electrónico de barrido, ejemplares de lacolección Frenguelli y otros recientemente coleccionados en Tierra del Fuego . El análisis de la variaciónpoblacional de los...

  6. Recovery of motor and cognitive function after cerebellar lesions in a songbird - Role of estrogens

    OpenAIRE

    Spence, RD; Zhen, Y.; White, S; Schlinger, BA; Day, LB

    2009-01-01

    In addition to its key role in complex motor function, the cerebellum is increasingly recognized to have a role in cognition. Songbirds are particularly good models for the investigation of motor and cognitive processes but little is known about the role of the songbird cerebellum in these processes. To explore cerebellar function in a songbird, we lesioned the cerebellum of adult female zebra finches and examined the effects on a spatial working memory task and on motor function during this ...

  7. Coping with uncertainty: woodpecker finches (Cactospiza pallida from an unpredictable habitat are more flexible than birds from a stable habitat.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sabine Tebbich

    Full Text Available Behavioural flexibility is thought to be a major factor in evolution. It may facilitate the discovery and exploitation of new resources, which in turn may expose populations to novel selective forces and facilitate adaptive radiation. Darwin's finches are a textbook example of adaptive radiation. They are fast learners and show a range of unusual foraging techniques, probably as a result of their flexibility. In this study we aimed to test whether variability of the environment is correlated with flexibility. We compared woodpecker finches from a dry area (hereafter, Arid Zone, where food availability is variable, with individuals from a cloud forest (hereafter, Scalesia zone where food abundance is stable. As parameters for flexibility, we measured neophilia and neophobia, which are two aspects of reaction to novelty, reversal learning and problem-solving. We found no differences in performance on a problem-solving task but, in line with our prediction, individuals from the Arid Zone were significantly faster reversal learners and more neophilic than their conspecifics from the Scalesia zone. The latter result supports the notion that environmental variability drives flexibility. In contrast to our prediction, Arid Zone birds were even more neophobic than birds from the Scalesia Zone. The latter result could be the consequence of differences in predation pressure between the two vegetation zones.

  8. Contrasting results from molecular and pedigree-based population diversity measures in captive zebra highlight challenges facing genetic management of zoo populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ito, Hideyuki; Ogden, Rob; Langenhorst, Tanya; Inoue-Murayama, Miho

    2017-01-01

    Zoo conservation breeding programs manage the retention of population genetic diversity through analysis of pedigree records. The range of demographic and genetic indices determined through pedigree analysis programs allows the conservation of diversity to be monitored relative to the particular founder population for a species. Such approaches are based on a number of well-documented founder assumptions, however without knowledge of actual molecular genetic diversity there is a risk that pedigree-based measures will be misinterpreted and population genetic diversity misunderstood. We examined the genetic diversity of the captive populations of Grevy's zebra, Hartmann's mountain zebra and plains zebra in Japan and the United Kingdom through analysis of mitochondrial DNA sequences. Very low nucleotide variability was observed in Grevy's zebra. The results were evaluated with respect to current and historic diversity in the wild, and indicate that low genetic diversity in the captive population is likely a result of low founder diversity, which in turn suggests relatively low wild genetic diversity prior to recent population declines. Comparison of molecular genetic diversity measures with analogous diversity indices generated from the studbook data for Grevy's zebra and Hartmann's mountain zebra show contrasting patterns, with Grevy's zebra displaying markedly less molecular diversity than mountain zebra, despite studbook analysis indicating that the Grevy's zebra population has substantially more founders, greater effective population size, lower mean kinship, and has suffered less loss of gene diversity. These findings emphasize the need to validate theoretical estimates of genetic diversity in captive breeding programs with empirical molecular genetic data. Zoo Biol. 36:87-94, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. Chronological history of zebra and quagga mussels (Dreissenidae) in North America, 1988-2010

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benson, Amy J.

    2013-01-01

    An unprecedented invasion began in North America in the mid-/late-1980s when two Eurasian mussel species, Dreissena polymorpha (zebra mussel) and Dreissena rostriformis bugensis (quagga mussel), became established in Laurentian Great Lakes. It is believed that Lake Erie was the initial location of establishment for both species, and within 3 years, zebra mussels had been found in all the Great Lakes. Since 1986, the combined distribution of two dreissenids has expanded throughout the Great Lakes region and the St. Lawrence River in Canada and also in the United States from the Great Lakes to the Mississippi Basin including Arkansas, Cumberland, Illinois, Missouri, Ohio, and Tennessee river basins. The distribution of dreissenid mussels in the Atlantic drainage has been limited to the Hudson and Susquehanna rivers. In the western United States, the quagga mussel established a large population in the lower Colorado River and spread to reservoirs in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, and Utah. Overall, dreissenid species have been documented in 131 river systems and 772 inland lakes, reservoirs, and impoundments in the United States.

  10. Involvement of apoptosis in host-parasite interactions in the zebra mussel.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minguez, Laëtitia; Brulé, Nelly; Sohm, Bénédicte; Devin, Simon; Giambérini, Laure

    2013-01-01

    The question of whether cell death by apoptosis plays a biological function during infection is key to understanding host-parasite interactions. We investigated the involvement of apoptosis in several host-parasite systems, using zebra mussels Dreissena polymorpha as test organisms and their micro- and macroparasites. As a stress response associated with parasitism, heat shock proteins (Hsp) can be induced. In this protein family, Hsp70 are known to be apoptosis inhibitors. Mussels were diagnosed for their respective infections by standard histological methods; apoptosis was detected using the TUNEL methods on paraffin sections and Hsp70 by immunohistochemistry on cryosections. Circulating hemocytes were the main cells observed in apoptosis whereas infected tissues displayed no or few apoptotic cells. Parasitism by intracellular bacteria Rickettsiales-like and the trematode Bucephalus polymorphus were associated with the inhibition of apoptosis whereas ciliates Ophryoglena spp. or the trematode Phyllodistomum folium did not involve significant differences in apoptosis. Even if some parasites were able to modulate apoptosis in zebra mussels, we did not see evidence of any involvement of Hsp70 on this mechanism.

  11. Involvement of apoptosis in host-parasite interactions in the zebra mussel.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laëtitia Minguez

    Full Text Available The question of whether cell death by apoptosis plays a biological function during infection is key to understanding host-parasite interactions. We investigated the involvement of apoptosis in several host-parasite systems, using zebra mussels Dreissena polymorpha as test organisms and their micro- and macroparasites. As a stress response associated with parasitism, heat shock proteins (Hsp can be induced. In this protein family, Hsp70 are known to be apoptosis inhibitors. Mussels were diagnosed for their respective infections by standard histological methods; apoptosis was detected using the TUNEL methods on paraffin sections and Hsp70 by immunohistochemistry on cryosections. Circulating hemocytes were the main cells observed in apoptosis whereas infected tissues displayed no or few apoptotic cells. Parasitism by intracellular bacteria Rickettsiales-like and the trematode Bucephalus polymorphus were associated with the inhibition of apoptosis whereas ciliates Ophryoglena spp. or the trematode Phyllodistomum folium did not involve significant differences in apoptosis. Even if some parasites were able to modulate apoptosis in zebra mussels, we did not see evidence of any involvement of Hsp70 on this mechanism.

  12. Modelling the Risk Posed by the Zebra Mussel Dreissena polymorpha: Italy as a Case Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bosso, Luciano; De Conno, Carmelina; Russo, Danilo

    2017-08-01

    We generated a risk map to forecast the potential effects of the spreading of zebra mussels Dreissena polymorpha across the Italian territory. We assessed the invader's potential impact on rivers, lakes, watersheds and dams at a fine-grained scale and detected those more at risk that should be targeted with appropriate monitoring. We developed a MaxEnt model and employed weighted overlay analyses to detect the species' potential distribution and generate risk maps for Italy. D. polymorpha has a greater probability of occurring at low to medium altitudes in areas characterised by fluviatile deposits of major streams. Northern and central Italy appear more at risk. Some hydroelectric power dams are at high risk, while most dams for irrigation, drinkable water reservoirs and other dam types are at medium to low risk. The lakes and rivers reaches (representing likely expansion pathways) at medium-high or high risk mostly occur in northern and central Italy. We highlight the importance of modelling potential invasions on a country scale to achieve the sufficient resolution needed to develop appropriate monitoring plans and prevent the invader's harmful effects. Further high-resolution risk maps are needed for other regions partly or not yet colonised by the zebra mussel.

  13. Skin-deep diagnosis: affective bias and zebra retreat complicating the diagnosis of systemic sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Chad S

    2013-01-01

    Nearly half of medical errors can be attributed to an error of clinical reasoning or decision making. It is estimated that the correct diagnosis is missed or delayed in between 5% and 14% of acute hospital admissions. Through understanding why and how physicians make these errors, it is hoped that strategies can be developed to decrease the number of these errors. In the present case, a patient presented with dyspnea, gastrointestinal symptoms and weight loss; the diagnosis was initially missed when the treating physicians took mental short cuts and used heuristics as in this case. Heuristics have an inherent bias that can lead to faulty reasoning or conclusions, especially in complex or difficult cases. Affective bias, which is the overinvolvement of emotion in clinical decision making, limited the available information for diagnosis because of the hesitancy to acquire a full history and perform a complete physical examination in this patient. Zebra retreat, another type of bias, is when a rare diagnosis figures prominently on the differential diagnosis but the physician retreats for various reasons. Zebra retreat also factored in the delayed diagnosis. Through the description of these clinical reasoning errors in an actual case, it is hoped that future errors can be prevented or inspiration for additional research in this area will develop.

  14. Assessment of Mercury Bioaccumulation in Zebra Cichlid (Cichlasoma Nigrofasciatum Exposed to Sublethal Concentrations of Permethrin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mahdi Banaee

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Background: Aquatic ecosystems are frequently subjected to contamination by toxic heavy metals and pesticides, yet very little is known about the influence of pesticides on bioaccumulation of heavy metals in aquatic organisms. Mercury is a toxic metal with no known biological benefit to organisms. Bioavailability of mercury in aquatic environments depends on biological and non-biological parameters including other pollutants. Therefore, the objectives of this research were to determine the effects of permethrin on bioaccumulation of mercury in zebra cichlid. Methods: Acute toxicity (LC50 of permethrin and mercury chloride was evaluated by estimating mortality in Probit Model in SPSS (version 19.0 IBM. In sub-lethal toxicity, zebra cichlid (Cichlasoma nigrofasciatum was exposed to various concentrations of permethrin (0.0, 0.40, 0.80, 1.20 and 1.60 µg.L-1 combined with 20 µg.L-1 mercury chloride for 15 days. At the end of the experiment, mercury concentrations were measured using ICP-OES-Perkin elmer (optima 7300-DV. Results: 96 h LC50 values of permethrin and mercury for C. nigrofasciatum were calculated to be 17.55 µg.L-1 and 140.38 µg.L-1, respectively. Our results clearly showed that the bioaccumulation of mercury in the specimens increased with increasing concentrations of permethrin to 1.20 and 1.60 µg.L-1. Conclusion: Increasing the concentration of permethrin had synergistic effects on the bioaccumulation of mercury in fish.

  15. Basis for the photoidentification of zebras (Equus burchellii in the National Zoological Garden of Cuba

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ernesto Testé Lozano

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Variability in facial strip patterns in zebras aloud its individualization. This is the basis for photo identification techniques that substitute traditional marking methods that can be expensive and traumatic. Current paper present an identification key of Equus burchelli captive in the National Zoological Garden of Cuba using left side pictures of their faces. Region of interest was limited by axes traced from posterior mouth edge, the eye and the lower base of neck. Strips crossing each ax were counted building a numerical code for each individual. The 68 % of captive zebras (54 individuals were photo identified. A group of 12 individuals had a code completely different from others, identifying each one. Remaining individuals could be grouped by similar codes, resulting in 11 pairs, and four groups of three, four, five and six individuals each. Every individual was characterized by the occurrence of spots, truncated strips, bridges between vertical stripes, periorbital bands, and bifurcated stripes. With all this characters a visual identification key was developed.

  16. Book review: Biology and management of invasive quagga and zebra mussels in the western United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benson, Amy J.

    2017-01-01

    Water is a precious and limited commodity in the western United States and its conveyance is extremely important. Therefore, it is critical to do as much as possible to prevent the spread of two species of dreissenid mussels, both non-native and highly invasive aquatic species already well-established in the eastern half of the United States. This book addresses the occurrences of the two dreissenid mussels in the West, the quagga mussel and the zebra mussel, that are both known to negatively impact water delivery systems and natural ecosystems. It is edited by two researchers whom have extensive experience working with the mussels in the West and is composed of 34 chapters, or articles, written by a variety of experts.Book information: Biology and Management of Invasive Quagga and Zebra Mussels in the Western United States. Edited by Wai Hing Wong and Shawn L. Gerstenberger. Boca Raton (Florida): CRC Press (Taylor & Francis Group). $149.95. xx + 545 p.; ill.; index. ISBN: 978-1-4665-9561-3. [Compact Disc included.] 2015.

  17. Statistics and classification of the microwave zebra patterns associated with solar flares

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tan, Baolin; Tan, Chengming; Zhang, Yin [Key Laboratory of Solar Activity, National Astronomical Observatories of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100012 (China); Mészárosová, H.; Karlický, M., E-mail: bltan@nao.cas.cn [Astronomical Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Ondrejov 15165 (Czech Republic)

    2014-01-10

    The microwave zebra pattern (ZP) is the most interesting, intriguing, and complex spectral structure frequently observed in solar flares. A comprehensive statistical study will certainly help us to understand the formation mechanism, which is not exactly clear now. This work presents a comprehensive statistical analysis of a big sample with 202 ZP events collected from observations at the Chinese Solar Broadband Radio Spectrometer at Huairou and the Ondŕejov Radiospectrograph in the Czech Republic at frequencies of 1.00-7.60 GHz from 2000 to 2013. After investigating the parameter properties of ZPs, such as the occurrence in flare phase, frequency range, polarization degree, duration, etc., we find that the variation of zebra stripe frequency separation with respect to frequency is the best indicator for a physical classification of ZPs. Microwave ZPs can be classified into three types: equidistant ZPs, variable-distant ZPs, and growing-distant ZPs, possibly corresponding to mechanisms of the Bernstein wave model, whistler wave model, and double plasma resonance model, respectively. This statistical classification may help us to clarify the controversies between the existing various theoretical models and understand the physical processes in the source regions.

  18. Susceptibility of zebra fish Danio rerio to infection by Flavobacterium columnare and F. johnsoniae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moyer, Thomas R; Hunnicutt, David W

    2007-06-07

    Flavobacterium columnare is a serious pathogen in a wide range of fish species. F. johnsoniae is an opportunistic pathogen of certain fish. Both are gliding bacteria. These species were tested for their ability to infect the zebra fish Danio rerio. Both injection and bath infection methods were tested. The results indicate that F. johnsoniae is not an effective pathogen in D. rerio, but that F. columnare is an effective pathogen. F. johnsoniae did not cause increased death rates following bath infection, but did cause increased death rates following injection, with an LD50 (mean lethal dose) of approximately 3 x 10(10) cfu (colony-forming units). Non-motile mutants of F. johnsoniae produced a similar LD50. F. columnare caused increased death rates following both injection and bath infections. There was considerable strain variation in LD50, with the most lethal strain tested producing an LD50 of 3.2 x 10(6) cfu injected and 1.1 x 10(6) cfu ml(-1) in bath experiments, including skin damage. The LD50 of F. columnare in zebra fish without skin damage was > 1 x 10(8), indicating an important effect of skin damage.

  19. Computational Graph Model for 3D Cells Tracking in Zebra Fish Datasets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Lelin; Xiong, Hongkai; Zhao, Yang; Zhang, Kai; Zhou, Xiaobo

    2007-11-01

    This paper leads to a novel technique for tracking and identification of zebra-fish cells in 3D image sequences, extending graph-based multi-objects tracking algorithm to 3D applications. As raised in previous work of 2D graph-based method, separated cells are modeled as vertices that connected by edges. Then the tracking work is simplified to that of vertices matching between graphs generated from consecutive frames. Graph-based tracking is composed of three steps: graph generation, initial source vertices selection and graph saturation. To satisfy demands in this work separated cell records are segmented from original datasets using 3D level-set algorithms. Besides, advancements are achieved in each of the step including graph regulations, multi restrictions on source vertices and enhanced flow quantifications. Those strategies make a good compensation for graph-based multi-objects tracking method in 2D space. Experiments are carried out in 3D datasets sampled from zebra fish, results of which shows that this enhanced method could be potentially applied to tracking of objects with diverse features.

  20. Transcriptional repressor foxl1 regulates central nervous system development by suppressing shh expression in zebra fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakada, Chisako; Satoh, Shinya; Tabata, Yoko; Arai, Ken-ichi; Watanabe, Sumiko

    2006-10-01

    We identified zebra fish forkhead transcription factor l1 (zfoxl1) as a gene strongly expressed in neural tissues such as midbrain, hindbrain, and the otic vesicle at the early embryonic stage. Loss of the function of zfoxl1 effected by morpholino antisense oligonucleotide resulted in defects in midbrain and eye development, and in that of formation of the pectoral fins. Interestingly, ectopic expression of shh in the midbrain and elevated pax2a expression in the optic stalk were observed in foxl1 MO-injected embryos. In contrast, expression of pax6a, which is negatively regulated by shh, was suppressed in the thalamus and pretectum regions, supporting the idea of augmentation of the shh signaling pathway by suppression of foxl1. Expression of zfoxl1-EnR (repressing) rather than zfoxl1-VP16 (activating) resulted in a phenotype similar to that induced by foxl1-mRNA, suggesting that foxl1 may act as a transcriptional repressor of shh in zebra fish embryos. Supporting this notion, foxl1 suppressed isolated 2.7-kb shh promoter activity in PC12 cells, and the minimal region of foxl1 required for its transcriptional repressor activity showed strong homology with the groucho binding motif, which is found in genes encoding various homeodomain proteins. In view of all of our data taken together, we propose zfoxl1 to be a novel regulator of neural development that acts by suppressing shh expression.

  1. Developmental plasticity, modularity, and heterochrony during the phylotypic stage of the zebra fish, Danio rerio.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Kai; Starck, J Matthias

    2010-03-15

    We studied early embryonic development of zebra fish and tested if changes in the external raising conditions could elicit phenotypic changes during the phylotypic stage which, classically, is considered as a conserved embryonic stage. In particular, we tested for internal constraints, plasticity, and heterochrony during the early embryonic development. Our tested hypotheses predict (i) no change associated with developmental stability/internal constraints, (ii) change of the rate of development associated with developmental flexibility, and (iii) heterochronic disruption of developmental pattern associated with a modular organization of the embryo. We measured 14 traits of embryos raised in different conditions (temperature, salinity, oxygen concentration). The results of our study show that zebra fish embryos respond flexibly to changes in external parameters even during the conserved "phylotypic stage." It also showed that internal constraints canalize early development when exposed to moderate external challenges. Hypoxic conditions, however, elicited a heterochronic delay of the onset of the development of the Anlagen of the eye and the otic vesicle from the remaining embryo. Therefore, we concluded that the eye and the otic vesicle are modules that may develop, to a certain degree, independently of the rest of the embryo. Because these modules become recognizable only under specific raising conditions, we suggest that the modularization acts as buffering mechanism against extreme developmental deviations. Our results provide support to the idea that modularity is present during the phylotypic stage, but it is not effective under normal conditions.

  2. Vitellogenin cleavage products as indicators for toxic stress in zebra fish embryos: a proteomic approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gündel, Ulrike; Benndorf, Dirk; von Bergen, Martin; Altenburger, Rolf; Küster, Eberhard

    2007-12-01

    Vitellogenins (Vtgs) are the major yolk proteins in all oviparous animals. Systematic and regulated processing of these during embryogenesis is crucial for embryonic development. In the present study, toxicant-induced disturbance of Vtg degradation processes during Danio rerio (DR) embryogenesis was analysed to establish a sensitive tool for monitoring toxic stress at the molecular level. A 2-DE-based proteomic approach for whole DR embryos was established to study Vtg cleavage products (lipovitellin (Lv) derivatives). Ethanol was chosen as a positive control for a toxicity related change in the proteome of whole zebra fish embryos. Protein extracts from embryos treated with two ethanol concentrations, 0.5 and 2% v/v, showing either no or very strong visible effects, like absent heartbeat and blood circulation, were examined. Significant changes in the Lv pattern were detected for both conditions. The results are interpreted as scope for the use of the high abundant Lv derivatives as sensitive stress indicators in zebra fish embryos reflecting the overall fitness of the intact organisms.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  4. Zebra tape identification for the instantaneous angular speed computation and angular resampling of motorbike valve train measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivola, Alessandro; Troncossi, Marco

    2014-02-01

    An experimental test campaign was performed on the valve train of a racing motorbike engine in order to get insight into the dynamic of the system. In particular the valve motion was acquired in cold test conditions by means of a laser vibrometer able to acquire displacement and velocity signals. The valve time-dependent measurements needed to be referred to the camshaft angular position in order to analyse the data in the angular domain, as usually done for rotating machines. To this purpose the camshaft was fitted with a zebra tape whose dark and light stripes were tracked by means of an optical probe. Unfortunately, both manufacturing and mounting imperfections of the employed zebra tape, resulting in stripes with slightly different widths, precluded the possibility to directly obtain the correct relationship between camshaft angular position and time. In order to overcome this problem, the identification of the zebra tape was performed by means of the original and practical procedure that is the focus of the present paper. The method consists of three main steps: namely, an ad-hoc test corresponding to special operating conditions, the computation of the instantaneous angular speed, and the final association of the stripes with the corresponding shaft angular position. The results reported in the paper demonstrate the suitability of the simple procedure for the zebra tape identification performed with the final purpose to implement a computed order tracking technique for the data analysis.

  5. POTENSI INVASIF IKAN ZEBRA CICHLID (Amatitlania nigrofasciata Günther, 1867DI DANAU BERATAN, BALI DITINJAU DARI ASPEK BIOLOGINYA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Agus Arifin Sentosa

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Danau Beratan yang terletak di kawasan Bedugul, Bali telah terintroduksiikan zebra cichlid (Amatitlania nigrofasciata Günther, 1867 secara tidak sengaja. Tujuan penelitian adalah untuk mengetahui potensi ikan zebra sebagai ikan asing invasif di Danau Beratan berdasarkan kajian pada beberapa aspek biologinya. Penelitian dilakukan dengan metode survei lapang di Danau Beratan, Bali pada bulan Mei, Juli dan Oktober 2011. Contoh ikan diperoleh menggunakan jaring insang percobaan dan jaring tarik. Analisis data meliputi hubungan panjang berat, faktor kondisi, parameter pertumbuhan, kebiasaan makanan dan aspek reproduksi ikan. Hasil penelitian menunjukkan ikan zebra mendominasi hasil penangkapan. Ikan tersebut memiliki faktor kondisi yang baik dengan nilai laju pertumbuhan tahunan (K yang tinggi, bersifat generalis dalam memanfaatkan sumber daya makanan dan matang gonad pada ukuran panjang yang kecil. Karakteristik biologi inimengindikasikan ikan tersebut memiliki potensi invasif yang cukup tinggi.  Lake Beratanislocated inBedugul, Balihas been an unintentional introduction ofzebracichlid(Amatitlania nigrofasciataGünther, 1867. The aim of this research was to determine thepotential ofzebra cichlid becomeinvasivealienfish speciesinLake Beratanbasedonseveralbiological aspects.The study was carried outby field surveymethods in Lake Beratan, Bali on May, JulyandOctober 2011. Fish samples was obtained usingexperimentalgillnetsandmodification ofseine nets. Data analysis included the lengthweightrelationship, conditionfactor, growth parameters, foodhabitsand its reproduction aspects. The results showedthat zebracichliddominatethe experimental catchin LakeBeratan. Analysis showedthese fishhavea goodconditionwith ahigh growth rate, have a generalist characteristic in exploitingthe natural food resourcesandmatureat small length size. A reviewforseveral biological aspects ofthe zebra cichlidshowedthatfishhavea highinvasivepotentialinLake Beratan.

  6. Scanning electron microscopy and in vitro cultivation of endophytic bacteria from potato tubers related to Zebra Chip disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zebra chip disease (ZCD) drastically reduces the quality and market value of potatoes in North America. The disease is associated with a phloem-limited alpha-proteobacterium, “Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum”. No effective measure is currently available to control ZCD. It is known that endoph...

  7. Overexpression a novel zebra fish spermatogenesis-associated gene 17 (SPATA17) induces apoptosis in GC-1 cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nie, Dongsong; Liu, Y; Xiang, Y

    2011-08-01

    The spermatogenesis-associated 17 gene (SPATA17, previously named MSRG-11) was reported to be a candidate spermatocyte apoptosis-related gene which may play a critical role in human spermatogenesis, especially in meiosis. Analysis of SPATA17 expression and regulation in zebra fish may provide insight into the understanding of the complicated process of gonadogenesis and its potential function in spermatocyte cell apoptosis. In this study, we cloned and characterized the SPATA17 gene from zebra fish which consists of nine exons separated by eight introns. The consensus open reading frame (1258 bp) encodes a polypeptide of 357 amino acids which shares 44% identity with the human SPATA17 gene. Bioinformatic analysis reveals that SPATA17 protein contains three short calmodulin-binding motifs (IQ motif) and is considered to play a critical role in interactions with CaM proteins. Multi-tissue RT-PCR and Northern blot results demonstrated that the zebra fish SPATA17 gene was expressed strongly in testis and a slight amount of expression in ovary. Flow cytometry analysis and genomic DNA ladders result showed that the expression of SPATA17 protein in the GC-1 cell line could accelerate cell apoptosis. Analysis of the SPATA17 sequence and its spatial expression pattern indicate that this gene is highly conserved and may play an important role in the process of zebra fish gonadogenesis.

  8. Zebra Chip disease and potato biochemistry: Tuber physiological changes in response to ‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’ infection over time

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zebra chip disease (ZC), putatively caused by ‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’ (Lso), is of increasing concern to potato production in Mexico, the United States, and New Zealand. However, little is known about host tuber physiological changes that result in ZC symptom formation. This study exp...

  9. Size limitation on zebra mussels consumed by freshwater drum may preclude the effectiveness of drum as a biological controller

    Science.gov (United States)

    French, John R. P.; Love, Joy G.

    1995-01-01

    The septa lengths of bivalve shells were used to estimate shell lengths of the largest zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) crushed and consumed by freshwater drum (Aplodinotus grunniens) to determine if size limitation could preclude the effectiveness of drum as a biological controller of the zebra mussel. We examined gut samples of drum (273 to 542 mm long) collected from western Lake Erie in 1991, found the largest mussel (shell length = 21.4 mm) in the 11th largest drum (TL = 405 mm), and observed a reduction of mussel size in larger drum. The lack of a relationship between mussel size and drum size for larger specimens suggests that either drum prefer smaller mussels or the gape between the upper and lower pharyngeal teeth restricts drum feeding to zebra mussels of limited size. Although drum may reduce zebra mussel populations, because of the apparent size limitation of prey it is unlikely that drum would be fully effective as a biological controller; thus, this fish should not be introduced beyond its native range for that purpose.

  10. Mate choice for a male carotenoid-based ornament is linked to female dietary carotenoid intake and accumulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Toomey Matthew B

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The coevolution of male traits and female mate preferences has led to the elaboration and diversification of sexually selected traits; however the mechanisms that mediate trait-preference coevolution are largely unknown. Carotenoid acquisition and accumulation are key determinants of the expression of male sexually selected carotenoid-based coloration and a primary mechanism maintaining the honest information content of these signals. Carotenoids also influence female health and reproduction in ways that may alter the costs and benefits of mate choice behaviours and thus provide a potential biochemical link between the expression of male traits and female preferences. To test this hypothesis, we manipulated the dietary carotenoid levels of captive female house finches (Carpodacus mexicanus and assessed their mate choice behavior in response to color-manipulated male finches. Results Females preferred to associate with red males, but carotenoid supplementation did not influence the direction or strength of this preference. Females receiving a low-carotenoid diet were less responsive to males in general, and discrimination among the colorful males was positively linked to female plasma carotenoid levels at the beginning of the study when the diet of all birds was carotenoid-limited. Conclusions Although female preference for red males was not influenced by carotenoid intake, changes in mating responsiveness and discrimination linked to female carotenoid status may alter how this preference is translated into choice. The reddest males, with the most carotenoid rich plumage, tend to pair early in the breeding season. If carotenoid-related variations in female choice behaviour shift the timing of pairing, then they have the potential to promote assortative mating by carotenoid status and drive the evolution of carotenoid-based male plumage coloration.

  11. Female Infertility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Infertility means not being able to get pregnant after at least one year of trying (or 6 ... woman keeps having miscarriages, it is also called infertility. Female infertility can result from age, physical problems, ...

  12. Characterization of NF-kappa B/I kappa B proteins in zebra fish and their involvement in notochord development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Correa, Ricardo G; Tergaonkar, Vinay; Ng, Jennifer K; Dubova, Ilir; Izpisua-Belmonte, Juan Carlos; Verma, Inder M

    2004-06-01

    Although largely involved in innate and adaptive immunity, NF-kappa B plays an important role in vertebrate development. In chicks, the inactivation of the NF-kappa B pathway induces functional alterations of the apical ectodermal ridge, which mediates limb outgrowth. In mice, the complete absence of NF-kappa B activity leads to prenatal death and neural tube defects. Here, we report the cloning and characterization of NF-kappa B/I kappa B proteins in zebra fish. Despite being ubiquitously expressed among the embryonic tissues, NF-kappa B/I kappa B members present distinct patterns of gene expression during the early zebra fish development. Biochemical assays indicate that zebra fish NF-kappa B proteins are able to bind consensus DNA-binding (kappa B) sites and inhibitory I kappa B alpha proteins from mammals. We show that zebra fish I kappa B alphas are degraded in a time-dependent manner after induction of transduced murine embryo fibroblasts (MEFs) and that these proteins are able to rescue NF-kappa B activity in I kappa B alpha(-/-) MEFs. Expression of a dominant-negative form of the murine I kappa B alpha (mI kappa B alpha M), which is able to block NF-kappa B in zebra fish cells, interferes with the notochord differentiation, generating no tail (ntl)-like embryos. This phenotype can be rescued by coinjection of the T-box gene ntl (Brachyury homologue), which is typically required for the formation of posterior mesoderm and axial development, suggesting that ntl lies downstream of NF-kappa B . We further show that ntl and Brachyury promoter regions contain functional kappa B sites and NF-kappa B can directly modulate ntl expression. Our study illustrates the conservation and compatibility of NF-kappa B/I kappa B proteins among vertebrates and the importance of NF-kappa B pathway in mesoderm formation during early embryogenesis.

  13. Matrix metalloproteinase-13 is required for zebra fish (Danio rerio) development and is a target for glucocorticoids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hillegass, Jedd Michael; Villano, Caren Melissa; Cooper, Keith Raymond; White, Lori Anne

    2007-11-01

    Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are endopeptidases that degrade the proteins of the extracellular matrix (ECM). Expression and activity of the MMPs are essential for embryogenesis, where MMPs participate in the normal ECM remodeling that occurs during tissue morphogenesis and development. Studies have demonstrated that MMP gene expression is inhibited by glucocorticoids in mammalian cell culture systems and that exposure to glucocorticoids causes developmental abnormalities in several species. Therefore, we proposed that glucocorticoids impede normal development through alteration of MMP expression. Zebra fish (Danio rerio) were used as a model to study MMP-13 expression both during normal embryogenesis and following acute exposure to two glucocorticoids, dexamethasone, and hydrocortisone. MMP-13 is one of three collagenases identified in vertebrates that catalyzes the degradation of type I collagens at neutral pH. MMP-13 expression varied during zebra fish development, with peak expression at 48 h post-fertilization (hpf). Morpholino knockdown studies showed that MMP-13 expression is necessary for normal zebra fish embryogenesis. Acute exposure to dexamethasone and hydrocortisone resulted in abnormal zebra fish development including craniofacial abnormalities, altered somitogenesis, blood pooling and pericardial and yolk sac edema as well as increased MMP-13 mRNA and activity at 72 hpf. In situ hybridization experiments were used to confirm the increase in MMP-13 expression following glucocorticoid treatment and showed elevated MMP-13 expression in the rostral trunk, brain, eye, heart, and anterior kidney of treated embryos. These data demonstrate that normal zebra fish embryogenesis requires MMP-13 and that dexamethasone and hydrocortisone modulate the expression of this gene, leading to increased activity and potentially contributing to subsequent dysmorphogenesis.

  14. Eimeria pileata n. sp. (Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae) from the rufous-capped brush finch Atlapetes pileatus Wagler (Passeriformes: Emberizidae) in Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soriano-Vargas, Edgardo; Medina, Juan Pablo; Salgado-Miranda, Celene; García-Conejo, Michele; Galindo-Sánchez, Karla Patrícia; Janczur, Mariusz Krzysztof; Berto, Bruno Pereira; Lopes, Carlos Wilson Gomes

    2015-11-01

    A new coccidian species (Protista: Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae) collected from the rufous-capped brush finch Atlapetes pileatus Wagler in the Nevado de Toluca Natural Protected Area, Mexico. Oöcysts of Eimeria pileata n. sp. are ellipsoidal, measuring on average 16.5 × 14.1 μm, with a smooth, bi-layered wall. Micropyle and oöcyst residuum are absent, but a polar granule is present. Sporocysts are ellipsoidal, measuring on average 9.0 × 5.4 μm. Stieda and sub-Stieda bodies are both present. A sporocyst residuum is present as a compact mass of granules. This is the third description of an eimeriid coccidian infecting passerines.

  15. Evolutionary constraints on equid domestication: Comparison of flight initiation distances of wild horses (Equus caballus ferus) and plains zebras (Equus quagga).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brubaker, Alexali S; Coss, Richard G

    2015-11-01

    Habituation to humans was an essential component of horse (Equus caballus ferus) domestication, with the nondomestication of zebras (Equus quagga) possibly reflecting an adaptive constraint on habituation. We present the human hunting hypothesis, arguing that ancestral humans hunted African animals, including zebras, long enough to promote a persistent wariness of humans, whereas a briefer period of hunting horses in Central Asia influenced by glacial cycles was unlikely to produce an equally persistent wariness. An alternative habituation to humans hypothesis, prompted by field observations, posits that zebras can habituate well to nonthreatening humans given sufficient exposure. If so, other factors must account for zebra nondomestication. To examine these hypotheses, we compared the flight initiation distances (FIDs) of wild horses in the United States and plains zebras in Africa to a human approaching on foot (N = 87). We compared the flight behavior of both species at sites with low and high exposure to humans (mean humans/acre = .004 and .209, respectively). Analyses revealed a significant interaction (p = .0001) between equid species and level of human exposure. The mean FIDs of horses (146 m) and zebras (105 m) with low human exposure did not differ appreciably (p = .412), but these distances were substantially longer (p human exposure that did differ significantly (p humans than horses do might reflect an adaptive response to historical hunting and partly explain their resistance to domestication.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Wei; Faisal, Mohamed

    2009-05-01

    The underwater adhesion of the zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) to substrates is a complex process that is controlled by a delicate apparatus, the byssus. As a critical activity of the byssus glands embedded in the zebra mussel feet, byssogenesis is highly active to produce numerous byssal threads from the settled juvenile stage through the adult stage in its life cycle. This lifelong activity helps the zebra mussel to firmly attach to substrata underwater, thereby causing severe economic and ecologic impacts. In an attempt to better understand the zebra mussel's byssus activity, a cDNA microarray (ZMB) including 716 genes, generated from a Suppression Subtractive Hybridization (SSH) cDNA library, was printed and used for the comparison of gene expression during zebra mussel adhesion and non-adhesion. To better understand the byssogenesis mechanism, RNA samples from the zebra mussel feet with byssogenesis and without byssogenesis were used in a two-color hybridization to reveal the gene differential expression in the two states. Based on the P values (Pbyssus cDNA microarray is an efficient tool for the studies of differential gene expression in different byssogenesis states, thereby revealing important details of the underwater adhesion.

  17. The effects of dietary carotenoid supplementation and retinal carotenoid accumulation on vision-mediated foraging in the house finch.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew B Toomey

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: For many bird species, vision is the primary sensory modality used to locate and assess food items. The health and spectral sensitivities of the avian visual system are influenced by diet-derived carotenoid pigments that accumulate in the retina. Among wild House Finches (Carpodacus mexicanus, we have found that retinal carotenoid accumulation varies significantly among individuals and is related to dietary carotenoid intake. If diet-induced changes in retinal carotenoid accumulation alter spectral sensitivity, then they have the potential to affect visually mediated foraging performance. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In two experiments, we measured foraging performance of house finches with dietarily manipulated retinal carotenoid levels. We tested each bird's ability to extract visually contrasting food items from a matrix of inedible distracters under high-contrast (full and dimmer low-contrast (red-filtered lighting conditions. In experiment one, zeaxanthin-supplemented birds had significantly increased retinal carotenoid levels, but declined in foraging performance in the high-contrast condition relative to astaxanthin-supplemented birds that showed no change in retinal carotenoid accumulation. In experiments one and two combined, we found that retinal carotenoid concentrations predicted relative foraging performance in the low- vs. high-contrast light conditions in a curvilinear pattern. Performance was positively correlated with retinal carotenoid accumulation among birds with low to medium levels of accumulation (∼0.5-1.5 µg/retina, but declined among birds with very high levels (>2.0 µg/retina. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results suggest that carotenoid-mediated spectral filtering enhances color discrimination, but that this improvement is traded off against a reduction in sensitivity that can compromise visual discrimination. Thus, retinal carotenoid levels may be optimized to meet the visual demands of specific

  18. The Zebra Fish IBD Model Assessed By Novel Probe Based TagMan Assays

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kania, Per Walter; Buchmann, Kurt; Haarder, Simon

    2015-01-01

    models it is known that oxazolone and TNBS can induce conditions mimicking ulcerative colitis (Th2 like response) and Crohn's disease (Th1/Th17 like response), respectively. Zebra fish (body weight 0.5 g) were divided into 4 groups (each with 2 replicates) and instilled rectally with H2O, ethanol, TNBS......, itself up-regulates genes (T-bet, INF, IL-17A, TGF) primarily from the Th1/Th17 response but also IL-10 of the Th2 response. The gene expression pattern of the oxazolone and TNBS instilled groups were partly similar pointing primarily towards a Th2 response. TNF was the only Th1response specific gene...

  19. Quagga and zebra mussel risk via veliger transfer by overland hauled boats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Larry B. Dalton

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Invasive quagga and zebra mussels (Dreissena rostriformis bugensis and Dreissena polymorpha, respectively pose a great threat to USwaters. Recreational boats constitute a significant risk for spreading the organisms. Recreational boats circulate large amounts of raw waterwhen in use, and if not drained and dried correctly can transport many mussel larvae, called veligers. Veligers experience very high mortality rates; however, the number of potentially transported veligers can be a serious risk to non-infested bodies of water, especially if multiple boats are involved. The risk of veliger transport was calculated for Lake Mead and Lake Michigan using boat capacities for water circulation and specific veliger density data. Results illustrate the importance of draining, drying, and/or decontaminating recreational boats after use.

  20. New records of 43 spider species from the Mountain Zebra National Park, South Africa (Arachnida: Araneae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.S. Dippenaar-Schoeman

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available This study forms part of the South African National Survey of Arachnida (SANSA, initiated in 1997 with the main aim to create an inventory of the arachnid fauna of South Africa (Dippenaar-Schoeman & Craemer 2000. One of the objectives of SANSA is to assess the number of arachnid species presently protected in conserved areas in the country. Check lists of spiders are now available for three national parks, three nature reserves and a conservancy. These areas include: Mountain Zebra National Park (Dippenaar-Schoeman 1988; Karoo National Park (Dippenaar-Schoeman et al. 1999; Kruger National Park (Dippenaar- Schoeman & Leroy 2002; Roodeplaatdam Nature Reserve (Dippenaar-Schoeman et al. 1989; Makelali Nature Reserve (Whitmore et al. 2001, 2002; Swartberg Nature Reserve (Dippenaar-Schoeman et al. 2005; and the Soutpansberg Conservancy (Foord et al. 2002.

  1. A light- and electron microscopic study of primordial germ cells in the zebra fish (Danio rerio).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deniz Koç, Nazan; Yüce, Rikap

    2012-01-01

    In sexually reproducing organisms, primordial germ cells (PGCs) give rise to the cells of the germ line, the gametes. In many animals, PGCs are set apart from somatic cells early during embryogenesis. This study explores the origin of primordial germ cells (PGCs) of the zebra fish and examines their morphology during early development (1st day-15th day). PGCs were selectively stained by the alkaline phosphatase histochemical reaction and viewed by light and electron microscopy from the time they are first detectable in the yolk sac endoderm. PGCs occurred in the subendodermal space on the syncytial periblast; differing from the surrounding endodermal cells. Later the PGCs moved to between the blastoderm and yolk sac and transferred to the dorsal mesentery where they formed gonadal anlage with mesoderm cells. PGCs were easily distinguished from somatic cells by their morphology and low electron density of their nuclei. Under light microscopy, PCGs were rounded with a distinct cytoplasmic membrane.

  2. Acute effects of mercuric chloride on glycogen and protein content of zebra fish, Danio rerio.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vutukuru, S S; Basani, Kalpana

    2013-03-01

    Presence of mercury and other heavy metals above permissible levels in water bodies across the globe is posing a serious threat to aquatic biota and public health. Occurrence of mercury above the permissible limits in the aquatic ecosystem of Hyderabad city is well established. In this context, we carried out static- renewal bioassays on the zebra fish, Danio rerio exposed to different concentrations of mercuric chloride, and the 96-h median lethal concentration (LC50) was found to be 0.077 mgl(-1). Behavioral manifestations like loss of scales, hyper secretion of mucus, surfacing and darting movements, loss of balance, irregular swimming patterns were noticed in the fish exposed to 0.077 mgl(-1). The present study also examined the toxic effects of mercuric chloride on vital biochemical constituent's total glycogen and total protein. Significant decrease (p fish exposed to 0.077 mgl(-1).

  3. Zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) parasites: potentially useful bioindicators of freshwater quality?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minguez, Laëtitia; Molloy, Daniel P; Guérold, François; Giambérini, Laure

    2011-01-01

    In environmental quality bioassessment studies, analysis of host-parasite interactions may well be a valuable alternative to classical macroinvertebrate sampling approaches. Herein, we investigated whether zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) parasites could be useful biomonitoring tools. Mussel populations were sampled twice at two sites in northeastern France representing different levels of contamination and were characterized for parasite infection following standard histological methods. Our results indicated that sites of different environmental quality (i.e. chemical contamination) exhibited different parasite communities characterized by different trematode species and parasite associations. An additional significant finding was the positive correlation established between the prevalence of Rickettsiales-like organisms and metal contamination. Multivariate analyses were valuable in examining parasite communities. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. A Very Small and Super Strong Zebra Pattern Burst at the Beginning of a Solar Flare

    CERN Document Server

    Tan, Baolin; Zhang, Yin; Huang, Jing; Meszarosova, Hana; Karlicky, Marian; Yan, Yihua

    2014-01-01

    Microwave emission with spectral zebra pattern structures (ZPs) is observed frequently in solar flares and the Crab pulsar. The previous observations show that ZP is only a structure overlapped on the underlying broadband continuum with slight increments and decrements. This work reports an extremely unusual strong ZP burst occurring just at the beginning of a solar flare observed simultaneously by two radio telescopes located in China and Czech Republic and by the extreme ultraviolet (EUV) telescope on board NASA's satellite Solar Dynamics Observatory on 2013 April 11. It is a very short and super strong explosion whose intensity exceeds several times that of the underlying flaring broadband continuum emission, lasting for just 18 s. EUV images show that the flare starts from several small flare bursting points (FBPs). There is a sudden EUV flash with extra enhancement in one of these FBPs during the ZP burst. Analysis indicates that the ZP burst accompanying EUV flash is an unusual explosion revealing a str...

  5. Effect of a sausage oscillation on radio zebra-pattern structures in a solar flare

    CERN Document Server

    Yu, Sijie; Yan, Yihua

    2016-01-01

    Sausage modes that are axisymmetric fast magnetoacoustic oscillations of solar coronal loops are characterized by variation of the plasma density and magnetic field, and hence cause time variations of the electron plasma frequency and cyclotron frequency. The latter parameters determine the condition for the double plasma resonance (DPR), which is responsible for the appearance of zebra-pattern (ZP) structures in time spectra of solar type IV radio bursts. We perform numerical simulations of standing and propagating sausage oscillations in a coronal loop modeled as a straight, field-aligned plasma slab, and determine the time variation of the DPR layer locations. Instant values of the plasma density and magnetic field at the DPR layers allowed us to construct skeletons of the time variation of ZP stripes in radio spectra. In the presence of a sausage oscillation, the ZP structures are shown to have characteristic wiggles with the time period prescribed by the sausage oscillation. Standing and propagating saus...

  6. The byssus of the zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha): spatial variations in protein composition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilbert, Trevor W; Sone, Eli D

    2010-10-01

    The notorious biofouling organism Dreissena polymorpha (the zebra mussel) attaches to a variety of surfaces using a byssus, a series of protein threads that connect the animal to adhesive plaques secreted onto hard substrata. Here, the use of matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) to characterize the composition of different regions of the byssus is reported. All parts of the byssus show mass peaks corresponding to small proteins in the range of 3.7-7 kDa, with distinctive differences between different regions. Indeed, spectra from thread and plaques are almost completely non-overlapping. In addition, several peaks were identified that are unique to the interfacial region of the plaque, and therefore likely represent specialized adhesive proteins. These results indicate a high level of control over the distribution of proteins, presumably with different functions, in the byssus of this freshwater species.

  7. Cognition Enhancing Activity of Sulforaphane Against Scopolamine Induced Cognitive Impairment in Zebra Fish (Danio rerio).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajesh, Venugopalan; Ilanthalir, Sakthivel

    2016-10-01

    Several epidemiological studies have shown that consumption of large quantities of vegetables especially cruciferous vegetables (Broccoli and Brussels sprouts) can protect against chronic diseases. Sulforaphane, an isothiocynate found in cruciferous vegetables has been demonstrated to have neuroprotective effects in several experimental paradigms. This study was undertaken to examine the effect of sulforaphane on cognitive impairment in zebra fish model using a novel method of fear conditioning. Initially, the normal behaviour of zebra fishes was studied in light-dark tank for 10 min daily for 10 days. Fishes were then divided into seven groups of twelve in each. Group I served as normal, group II served as fear conditioned control, group III and group IV were sulforaphane (25 µM/L) and piracetam (200 mg/L) treated respectively. Group V served as scopolamine (400 µM/L) induced memory impairment fishes. Group VI and VII were sulforaphane (25 µM/L) and piracetam (200 mg/L) treated scopolamine induced memory impairment groups respectively. In normal behavioural analysis, fishes preferred to stay in dark compartment. The average number of entries into the dark and time spent in dark were significantly more. Fishes in group II to VII were individually subjected to fear conditioning passive avoidance task and evaluated for learned task memory. It was observed that the average number of entries into dark and time spent in dark were significantly decreased. After exposure to respective treatment fishes in group III to VII were subjected to cognitive evaluation. There was no significant difference in cognition of group III and IV fishes exposed to sulforaphane and piracetam alone respectively. Fishes exposed to scopolamine showed a significant cognitive impairment. Sulforaphane exposure prior to scopolamine significantly retained the memory of learned task. These findings suggest that sulforaphane might be a promising therapeutic agent for cognitive enhancement in

  8. Compensation in resting metabolism for experimentally increased activity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Deerenberg, C; Overkamp, GJF; Visser, GH; Daan, S; Heldmaier, G.

    1998-01-01

    To study zebra finch allocation of energy to day and night at two different workloads, we assessed the daily energy turnover from: (1) metabolizable energy of the food, and (2) doubly-labeled water. In both experiments we imposed two levels of activity on captive zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata),

  9. Female sexuality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rao, T.S. Sathyanarana; Nagaraj, Anil Kumar M.

    2015-01-01

    Sex is a motive force bringing a man and a woman into intimate contact. Sexuality is a central aspect of being human throughout life and encompasses sex, gender identities and roles, sexual orientation, eroticism, pleasure, intimacy, and reproduction. Sexuality is experienced and expressed in thoughts, fantasies, desires, beliefs, attitudes, values, behaviors, practices, roles and relationships. Though generally, women are sexually active during adolescence, they reach their peak orgasmic frequency in their 30 s, and have a constant level of sexual capacity up to the age of 55 with little evidence that aging affects it in later life. Desire, arousal, and orgasm are the three principle stages of the sexual response cycle. Each stage is associated with unique physiological changes. Females are commonly affected by various disorders in relation to this sexual response cycle. The prevalence is generally as high as 35–40%. There are a wide range of etiological factors like age, relationship with a partner, psychiatric and medical disorders, psychotropic and other medication. Counseling to overcome stigma and enhance awareness on sexuality is an essential step in management. There are several effective psychological and pharmacological therapeutic approaches to treat female sexual disorders. This article is a review of female sexuality. PMID:26330647

  10. Comparative gene expression analysis among vocal learners (Bengalese finch and budgerigar and non-learners (quail and ring dove reveals variable cadherin expressions in the vocal system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eiji eMatsunaga

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Birds use various vocalizations to communicate with one another, and some are acquired through learning. So far, three families of birds (songbirds, parrots, and hummingbirds have been identified as having vocal learning ability. Previously, we found that cadherins, a large family of cell-adhesion molecules, show vocal control-area-related expression in a songbird, the Bengalese finch. To investigate the molecular basis of evolution in avian species, we conducted comparative analysis of cadherin expressions in the vocal and other neural systems among vocal learners (Bengalese finch and budgerigar and a non-learner (quail and ring dove. The gene expression analysis revealed that cadherin expressions were more variable in vocal and auditory areas compared to vocally unrelated areas such as the visual areas among these species. Thus, it appears that such diverse cadherin expressions might have been related to generating species diversity in vocal behavior during the evolution of avian vocal learning. 

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rzepecki, L M; Waite, J H

    1993-10-01

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

  12. Different Host Exploitation Strategies in Two Zebra Mussel-Trematode Systems: Adjustments of Host Life History Traits

    OpenAIRE

    Laëtitia Minguez; Thierry Buronfosse; Laure Giambérini

    2012-01-01

    The zebra mussel is the intermediate host for two digenean trematodes, Phyllodistomum folium and Bucephalus polymorphus, infecting gills and the gonad respectively. Many gray areas exist relating to the host physiological disturbances associated with these infections, and the strategies used by these parasites to exploit their host without killing it. The aim of this study was to examine the host exploitation strategies of these trematodes and the associated host physiological disturbances. W...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1994-01-01

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

  14. Group Dynamics of Zebra and Wildebeest in a Woodland Savanna: Effects of Predation Risk and Habitat Density

    OpenAIRE

    Maria Thaker; Vanak, Abi T.; Cailey R. Owen; Monika B. Ogden; Rob Slotow

    2010-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Group dynamics of gregarious ungulates in the grasslands of the African savanna have been well studied, but the trade-offs that affect grouping of these ungulates in woodland habitats or dense vegetation are less well understood. We examined the landscape-level distribution of groups of blue wildebeest, Connochaetes taurinus, and Burchell's zebra, Equus burchelli, in a predominantly woodland area (Karongwe Game Reserve, South Africa; KGR) to test the hypothesis that group dynamics...

  15. Comparing a microbial biocide and chlorine as zebra mussel control strategies in an Irish drinking water treatment plant

    OpenAIRE

    Sara Meehan; LUCY Frances E.; Bridget Gruber; Sarahann Rackl

    2013-01-01

    A need exists for an environmentally friendly mussel control method to replace chlorine and other traditional control methods currentlyutilised in drinking water plants and other infested facilities. Zequanox® is a newly commercialised microbial biocide for zebra and quaggamussels comprised of killed Pseudomonas fluorescens CL145A cells. The objective of this study was to compare the efficacy of adevelopmental formulation of Zequanox (referred to as MBI 401 FDP) and chlorine treatments on adu...

  16. Comparing a microbial biocide and chlorine as zebra mussel control strategies in an Irish drinking water treatment plant

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara Meehan

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available A need exists for an environmentally friendly mussel control method to replace chlorine and other traditional control methods currentlyutilised in drinking water plants and other infested facilities. Zequanox® is a newly commercialised microbial biocide for zebra and quaggamussels comprised of killed Pseudomonas fluorescens CL145A cells. The objective of this study was to compare the efficacy of adevelopmental formulation of Zequanox (referred to as MBI 401 FDP and chlorine treatments on adult and juvenile zebra mussels byrunning a biobox trial in conjunction with chlorine treatments at an infested Irish drinking water treatment plant. Since 2009, the plantmanagement has used a residual chlorine concentration of 2 mg/L in autumn to control both adult zebra mussels and juvenile settlement intheir three concrete raw water chambers. Juvenile mussel settlement was monitored in three bioboxes as well as in three treatment chambersin the plant for three months prior to treatment. Adult mussels were seeded into the chambers and bioboxes four days before treatment. InOctober 2011, the bioboxes were treated with MBI 401 FDP at 200 mg active substance/L, while chlorine treatment took place in the waterchambers. The MBI 401 FDP treatment lasted only 8 hours while chlorine treatment lasted seven days. Juvenile numbers were reduced tozero in both the bioboxes and treated chambers within seven days. Adult mussel mortality reached 80% for both the chlorine and MBI 401FDP treatment; however, mortality was achieved faster in the chlorine treatment. These results provided important insights into zebra musselcontrol alternatives to chlorine and supported further development of the now commercial product, Zequanox.

  17. Carotenoids in bird testes: links to body carotenoid supplies, plumage coloration, body mass and testes mass in house finches (Carpodacus mexicanus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowe, Melissah; Tourville, Elizabeth A; McGraw, Kevin J

    2012-01-01

    Carotenoid pigments can be allocated to different parts of the body to serve specific functions. In contrast to other body tissues, studies of carotenoid resources in the testes of animals are relatively scarce. We used high-performance liquid chromatography to determine the types and concentrations of carotenoids in the testes of house finches (Carpodacus mexicanus). Additionally, we examined the relationships between testes carotenoid concentrations and carotenoid pools in other body tissues, as well as body mass, testes mass and plumage coloration. We detected low concentrations of several carotenoids - lutein (the predominant carotenoid), zeaxanthin, anhydrolutein, β-cryptoxanthin, β-carotene and an unknown carotene - in the testes of wild house finches. We also found that testes lutein levels were significantly and positively associated with circulating lutein levels, while the concentration of zeaxanthin in testes was positively associated with zeaxanthin levels in liver, though in this instance the relationship was much weaker and only marginally significant. Furthermore, lutein levels in testes were significantly negatively associated with testes mass. Finally, plumage coloration was not associated with either the concentration of carotenoids in the testes or relative testes mass. These results suggest that testes carotenoids are reflective of the pool of circulating carotenoids in house finches, and that plumage coloration is unlikely to signal either the carotenoid content of testes tissue or a male's capacity for sperm production.

  18. Bioavailability of particulate metal to zebra mussels: Biodynamic modelling shows that assimilation efficiencies are site-specific

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bourgeault, Adeline, E-mail: bourgeault@ensil.unilim.fr [Cemagref, Unite de Recherche Hydrosystemes et Bioprocedes, 1 rue Pierre-Gilles de Gennes, 92761 Antony (France); FIRE, FR-3020, 4 place Jussieu, 75005 Paris (France); Gourlay-France, Catherine, E-mail: catherine.gourlay@cemagref.fr [Cemagref, Unite de Recherche Hydrosystemes et Bioprocedes, 1 rue Pierre-Gilles de Gennes, 92761 Antony (France); FIRE, FR-3020, 4 place Jussieu, 75005 Paris (France); Priadi, Cindy, E-mail: cindy.priadi@eng.ui.ac.id [LSCE/IPSL CEA-CNRS-UVSQ, Avenue de la Terrasse, 91198 Gif-sur-Yvette (France); Ayrault, Sophie, E-mail: Sophie.Ayrault@lsce.ipsl.fr [LSCE/IPSL CEA-CNRS-UVSQ, Avenue de la Terrasse, 91198 Gif-sur-Yvette (France); Tusseau-Vuillemin, Marie-Helene, E-mail: Marie-helene.tusseau@ifremer.fr [IFREMER Technopolis 40, 155 rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau, 92138 Issy-Les-Moulineaux (France)

    2011-12-15

    This study investigates the ability of the biodynamic model to predict the trophic bioaccumulation of cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), nickel (Ni) and zinc (Zn) in a freshwater bivalve. Zebra mussels were transplanted to three sites along the Seine River (France) and collected monthly for 11 months. Measurements of the metal body burdens in mussels were compared with the predictions from the biodynamic model. The exchangeable fraction of metal particles did not account for the bioavailability of particulate metals, since it did not capture the differences between sites. The assimilation efficiency (AE) parameter is necessary to take into account biotic factors influencing particulate metal bioavailability. The biodynamic model, applied with AEs from the literature, overestimated the measured concentrations in zebra mussels, the extent of overestimation being site-specific. Therefore, an original methodology was proposed for in situ AE measurements for each site and metal. - Highlights: > Exchangeable fraction of metal particles did not account for the bioavailability of particulate metals. > Need for site-specific biodynamic parameters. > Field-determined AE provide a good fit between the biodynamic model predictions and bioaccumulation measurements. - The interpretation of metal bioaccumulation in transplanted zebra mussels with biodynamic modelling highlights the need for site-specific assimilation efficiencies of particulate metals.

  19. Molecular Cloning and Functional Characterization of Mannose Receptor in Zebra Fish (Danio rerio during Infection with Aeromonas sobria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Feifei Zheng

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Mannose receptor (MR is a member of pattern-recognition receptors (PRRs, which plays a significant role in immunity responses. Much work on MR has been done in mammals and birds while little in fish. In this report, a MR gene (designated as zfMR was cloned from zebra fish (Danio rerio, which is an attractive model for the studies of animal diseases. The full-length cDNA of zfMR contains 6248 bp encoding a putative protein of 1428 amino acids. The predicted amino acid sequences showed that zfMR contained a cysteine-rich domain, a single fibronectin type II (FN II domain, eight C-type lectin-like domains (CTLDs, a transmembrane domain and a short C-terminal cytoplasmic domain, sharing highly conserved structures with MRs from the other species. The MR mRNA could be detected in all examined tissues with highest level in kidney. The temporal expression patterns of MR, IL-1β and TNF-α mRNAs were analyzed in the liver, spleen, kidney and intestine post of infection with Aeromonas sobria. By immunohistochemistry assay, slight enhancement of MR protein was also observed in the spleen and intestine of the infected zebra fish. The established zebra fish-A. sobria infection model will be valuable for elucidating the role of MR in fish immune responses to infection.

  20. Comparison of the acute toxicity for gamma-cyhalothrin and lambda-cyhalothrin to zebra fish and shrimp.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Wei; Cai, D J; Shan, Z J; Chen, W L; Poletika, Nick; Gao, X W

    2007-03-01

    Gamma-cyhalothrin 15CS (GCH) contains only the active stereoisomer of the two isomers found in lambda-cyhalothrin 25EW (LCH). GCH (0.5 x rate) provides equivalent overall insect control as LCH (1 x rate). Both formulations showed high acute toxicity to zebra fish (Brachydanio rerio H.B.) and shrimp (Macrobrachium nippoensis de Haan). The 96-h LC(50(zebra fish,GCH)) is 1.93 microg a.i/L and LC(50(zebra fish,LCH)) is 1.94 microg a.i/L. LC(50(shrimp,GCH)) is 0.28 microg a.i./L and LC(50(shrimp,LCH)) 0.04 microg a.i./L. This indicates that the toxicity to shrimp is likely stereochemistry-dependent. The fates of GCH and LCH are similar in laboratory simulated rice paddy water and their concentrations decrease rapidly, with no GCH or LCH detected after 3 or 4 days. Both are toxic to shrimp in a simulated paddy irrigation reservoir even though treated return water is diluted 5 times. No shrimp fatality is shown in the GCH-treated paddy water after a 4-day holding period, and longer than 5 days is necessary to reach a zero fatality rate for LCH. This is compatible with the 7-day water holding period considered reasonable in agricultural practice.

  1. Molecular Cloning and Functional Characterization of Mannose Receptor in Zebra Fish (Danio rerio) during Infection with Aeromonas sobria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Feifei; Asim, Muhammad; Lan, Jiangfeng; Zhao, Lijuan; Wei, Shun; Chen, Nan; Liu, Xiaoling; Zhou, Yang; Lin, Li

    2015-05-15

    Mannose receptor (MR) is a member of pattern-recognition receptors (PRRs), which plays a significant role in immunity responses. Much work on MR has been done in mammals and birds while little in fish. In this report, a MR gene (designated as zfMR) was cloned from zebra fish (Danio rerio), which is an attractive model for the studies of animal diseases. The full-length cDNA of zfMR contains 6248 bp encoding a putative protein of 1428 amino acids. The predicted amino acid sequences showed that zfMR contained a cysteine-rich domain, a single fibronectin type II (FN II) domain, eight C-type lectin-like domains (CTLDs), a transmembrane domain and a short C-terminal cytoplasmic domain, sharing highly conserved structures with MRs from the other species. The MR mRNA could be detected in all examined tissues with highest level in kidney. The temporal expression patterns of MR, IL-1β and TNF-α mRNAs were analyzed in the liver, spleen, kidney and intestine post of infection with Aeromonas sobria. By immunohistochemistry assay, slight enhancement of MR protein was also observed in the spleen and intestine of the infected zebra fish. The established zebra fish-A. sobria infection model will be valuable for elucidating the role of MR in fish immune responses to infection.

  2. Zebra fish Dnmt1 and Suv39h1 regulate organ-specific terminal differentiation during development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rai, Kunal; Nadauld, Lincoln D; Chidester, Stephanie; Manos, Elizabeth J; James, Smitha R; Karpf, Adam R; Cairns, Bradley R; Jones, David A

    2006-10-01

    DNA methylation and histone methylation are two key epigenetic modifications that help govern heterochromatin dynamics. The roles for these chromatin-modifying activities in directing tissue-specific development remain largely unknown. To address this issue, we examined the roles of DNA methyltransferase 1 (Dnmt1) and the H3K9 histone methyltransferase Suv39h1 in zebra fish development. Knockdown of Dnmt1 in zebra fish embryos caused defects in terminal differentiation of the intestine, exocrine pancreas, and retina. Interestingly, not all tissues required Dnmt1, as differentiation of the liver and endocrine pancreas appeared normal. Proper differentiation depended on Dnmt1 catalytic activity, as Dnmt1 morphants could be rescued by active zebra fish or human DNMT1 but not by catalytically inactive derivatives. Dnmt1 morphants exhibited dramatic reductions of both genomic cytosine methylation and genome-wide H3K9 trimethyl levels, leading us to investigate the overlap of in vivo functions of Dnmt1 and Suv39h1. Embryos lacking Suv39h1 had organ-specific terminal differentiation defects that produced largely phenocopies of Dnmt1 morphants but retained wild-type levels of DNA methylation. Remarkably, suv39h1 overexpression rescued markers of terminal differentiation in Dnmt1 morphants. Our results suggest that Dnmt1 activity helps direct histone methylation by Suv39h1 and that, together, Dnmt1 and Suv39h1 help guide the terminal differentiation of particular tissues.

  3. FEMALE PSEUDOHERMAPHRODITISM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    AL. Bulotta

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Introduction. 21α-hydroxylase deficiency is the most frequent cause of virilization in patients with female karyotype due to exposure of a female fetus to excess of androgen. We report anatomical and cosmetic results of feminizing genital reconstruction of two related patients (second cousin with XX karyotype born with urogenital sinus anomalies (UGS and not treated at birth. Materials and Metods. Patient 1 is 6-years old with ambiguous genitalia graded as Prader V and never undergone therapy or surgery. Patient 2 is 10-years old, graded as Prader IV and subjected to hormonal therapy and clitoral amputation at the age of 6. Mobilization of urogenital sinus, pull-through of vagina and tubulization of urethra was performed in both after placement of Foley chateters in vagina and bladder by cisto-vaginoscopy. Genitoplasty involved refashioning the tissues to create minora and majora labia and, after removal of corpora, partial clitorectomy was carried in patient 1 and clitoridal reconstruction in patient 2. Result. Vaginal introitus was positioned in the vestibule region below urethral meatus. Foley chateters was removed after two weeks in narcosis and the cosmetic and anatomic result was good. Conclusion. Goals of feminizing genitoplasty are to restore, soon as possible, anatomy achieving a more feminine appareance with a vagina for menstruation, to preserve reproductive capacity and to prevent urological sequelae but it’s also important to contribute in a development of a more stable gender identity. This procedure in two stage, based on an accurate diagnosis, is good to create feminine genital appareance in children with female pseudohermaphroditism expecially if not treated at birth.

  4. 50 CFR 15.33 - Species included in the approved list.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 1 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Species included in the approved list. 15.33 Section 15.33 Wildlife and Fisheries UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE.... Poephila cincta Parson finch. Poephila guttata Zebra finch. Poephila personata Masked finch....

  5. Efficacy of spray –Dried Pseudomonas fluorescens, strain CL145A (Zequanox®), for controlling Zebra Mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) within Lake Minnetonka, MN enclosures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luoma, James A.; Severson, Todd J.

    2016-01-01

    The efficacy of whole water column and subsurface applications of the biopesticide Zequanox®, a commercially prepared spray-dried powder formulation of Pseudomonas fluorescens (strain CL145A), were evaluated for controlling zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) within 27-m2 enclosures in Lake Minnetonka (Deephaven, Minnesota). Five treatments consisting of (1) two whole water column Zequanox applications, (2) two subsurface Zequanox applications, and (3) an untreated control were completed on each of three independent treatment days during September 2014. The two types of samplers used in the study were (1) type 1 samplers, which were custom built multi-plate samplers (wood, perforated aluminum, and tile substrates) that were placed into Robinson’s Bay in June of 2013 to allow for natural colonization by zebra mussels, and (2) type 2 samplers, which consisted of zebra mussels adhering to perforated aluminum trays that were placed into mesh containment bags. One day prior to treatment, three individual samplers of each type were distributed to test enclosures and exposed to a randomly assigned treatment. Sampling to determine the zebra mussel biomass adhering to type 1 samplers and the survival assessments for zebra mussels contained in type 2 samplers were completed ~40 days after exposure. The zebra mussel biomass adhering to type 1 samplers and the survival of zebra mussels contained in type 2 samplers were significantly less in groups treated with the highest Zequanox concentrations and in groups that received whole water column applications than comparable groups treated with lower Zequanox concentrations and subsurface applications. However, standardization of biomass and survival results to the amount of Zequanox applied showed that the lower concentrations and subsurface applications were more cost efficient, with respect to product used, at reducing zebra mussel biomass and for inducing zebra mussel mortality. Although the subsurface application methods

  6. 斑马鱼在神经遗传疾病研究中的应用%Application of Zebra Fish in the Studies of Neurological Genetic Diseases

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    赵婷; 洪震

    2014-01-01

    The zebra ifsh (daniorerio) is a popular model organism, which has advantages like small size, short period of sexual maturation, in vitro fertilization, and transparent embryos. Genome sequencing of zebra ifsh has been completed. Techniques such as cell markers, tissue transplantation, transgene, gene activity inhibition have become matured. Zebra ifsh shows bright prospects in studying neural developments and neural functions, and constructing human genetic diseases models. Techniques to work with zebra ifsh and applications of zebra ifsh in the study of neurological genetic disease were reviewed.%斑马鱼是最常用的神经遗传学模式生物之一,拥有体积小、性成熟周期短、体外受精、胚胎通体透明等优点。斑马鱼的基因组测序已经完成,研究相关的细胞标记技术、组织移植技术、转基因技术、基因活性抑制技术等均已成熟,在神经发育和神经功能的研究、构建人类遗传性疾病模型等多方面均展现了广阔前景。对斑马鱼在神经遗传性疾病研究中的应用进行综述。

  7. Comparison of Staged Z-pinch Experiments at the NTF Zebra Facility with Mach2 simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruskov, E.; Wessel, F. J.; Rahman, H. U.; Ney, P.; Darling, T. W.; Johnson, Z.; McGee, E.; Covington, A.; Dutra, E.; Valenzuela, J. C.; Conti, F.; Narkis, J.; Beg, F.

    2016-10-01

    Staged Z-pinch experiments at the University of Nevada, Reno, 1MA Z-pinch Zebra facility were conducted. A hollow shell of argon gas liner is injected between 1 cm anode-cathode gap through a supersonic nozzle of 2.0 cm diameter with a throat gap of 240 microns. A deuterium plasma fill is injected inside the argon gas shell through a plasma gun as a fusible target plasma. An axial magnetic field is also applied throughout the pinch region. Experimental measurements such as pinch current, X-ray signal, neutron yield, and streak images are compared with MACH2 radiation hydrodynamic code simulations. The argon liner density profiles, obtained from the CFD (FLUENT), are used as an input to MACH2. The comparison suggests a fairly close agreement between the experimental measurements and the simulation results. This study not only helps to benchmark the code but also suggests the importance of the Z-pinch implosion time, optimizing both liner and target plasma density to obtain the maximum energy coupling between the circuit and the load. Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy, DE-AR0000569.

  8. ZebraBeat: a flexible platform for the analysis of the cardiac rate in zebrafish embryos

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Luca, Elisa; Zaccaria, Gian Maria; Hadhoud, Marwa; Rizzo, Giovanna; Ponzini, Raffaele; Morbiducci, Umberto; Santoro, Massimo Mattia

    2014-05-01

    Heartbeat measurement is important in assesssing cardiac function because variations in heart rhythm can be the cause as well as an effect of hidden pathological heart conditions. Zebrafish (Danio rerio) has emerged as one of the most useful model organisms for cardiac research. Indeed, the zebrafish heart is easily accessible for optical analyses without conducting invasive procedures and shows anatomical similarity to the human heart. In this study, we present a non-invasive, simple, cost-effective process to quantify the heartbeat in embryonic zebrafish. To achieve reproducibility, high throughput and flexibility (i.e., adaptability to any existing confocal microscope system and with a user-friendly interface that can be easily used by researchers), we implemented this method within a software program. We show here that this platform, called ZebraBeat, can successfully detect heart rate variations in embryonic zebrafish at various developmental stages, and it can record cardiac rate fluctuations induced by factors such as temperature and genetic- and chemical-induced alterations. Applications of this methodology may include the screening of chemical libraries affecting heart rhythm and the identification of heart rhythm variations in mutants from large-scale forward genetic screens.

  9. FREQUENCY DEPENDENCE OF POLARIZATION OF ZEBRA PATTERN IN TYPE-IV SOLAR RADIO BURSTS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kaneda, Kazutaka; Misawa, H.; Tsuchiya, F.; Obara, T. [Planetary Plasma and Atmospheric Research Center, Tohoku University, Sendai, Miyagi 980-8578 (Japan); Iwai, K., E-mail: k.kaneda@pparc.gp.tohoku.ac.jp [National Institute of Information and Communications Technology, 4-2-1, Nukui-Kitamachi, Koganei, Tokyo 184-8795 (Japan)

    2015-08-01

    We investigated the polarization characteristics of a zebra pattern (ZP) in a type-IV solar radio burst observed with AMATERAS on 2011 June 21 for the purpose of evaluating the generation processes of ZPs. Analyzing highly resolved spectral and polarization data revealed the frequency dependence of the degree of circular polarization and the delay between two polarized components for the first time. The degree of circular polarization was 50%–70% right-handed and it varied little as a function of frequency. Cross-correlation analysis determined that the left-handed circularly polarized component was delayed by 50–70 ms relative to the right-handed component over the entire frequency range of the ZP and this delay increased with the frequency. We examined the obtained polarization characteristics by using pre-existing ZP models and concluded that the ZP was generated by the double-plasma-resonance process. Our results suggest that the ZP emission was originally generated in a completely polarized state in the O-mode and was partly converted into the X-mode near the source. Subsequently, the difference between the group velocities of the O-mode and X-mode caused the temporal delay.

  10. Cell degradation of a Na–NiCl2 (ZEBRA) battery

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, Guosheng [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Lu, Xiaochuan [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Kim, Jin Y. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Lemmon, John P. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Sprenkle, Vincent L. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)

    2013-09-23

    In this work, the parameters influencing the degradation of a Na-NiCl2 (ZEBRA) battery were investigated. Planar Na-NiCl2 cells using β”-alumina solid electrolyte (BASE) were tested with different C-rates, Ni/NaCl ratios, and capacity windows, in order to identify the key parameters for the degradation of Na-NiCl2 battery. The morphology of NaCl and Ni particles were extensively investigated after 60 cycles under various test conditions using a scanning electron microscope. A strong correlation between the particle size (NaCl and Ni) and battery degradation was observed in this work. Even though the growth of both Ni and NaCl can influence the cell degradation, our results indicate that the growth of NaCl is a dominant factor in cell degradation. The use of excess Ni seems to play a role in tolerating the negative effects of particle growth on degradation since the available active surface area of Ni particles can be still sufficient even after particle growth. For NaCl, a large cycling window was the most significant factor, of which effects were amplified with decrease in Ni/NaCl ratio.

  11. QUASI-PERIODIC WIGGLES OF MICROWAVE ZEBRA STRUCTURES IN A SOLAR FLARE

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yu, Sijie; Tan, Baolin; Yan, Yihua [Key Laboratory of Solar Activity, National Astronomical Observatories Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100012 (China); Nakariakov, V. M.; Selzer, L. A., E-mail: sjyu@nao.cas.cn [Centre for Fusion, Space and Astrophysics, Physics Department, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL (United Kingdom)

    2013-11-10

    Quasi-periodic wiggles of microwave zebra pattern (ZP) structures with periods ranging from about 0.5 s to 1.5 s are found in an X-class solar flare on 2006 December 13 at the 2.6-3.8 GHz with the Chinese Solar Broadband Radio Spectrometer (SBRS/Huairou). Periodogram and correlation analysis show that the wiggles have two to three significant periodicities and are almost in phase between stripes at different frequencies. The Alfvén speed estimated from the ZP structures is about 700 km s{sup –1}. We find the spatial size of the wave-guiding plasma structure to be about 1 Mm with a detected period of about 1 s. This suggests that the ZP wiggles can be associated with the fast magnetoacoustic oscillations in the flaring active region. The lack of a significant phase shift between wiggles of different stripes suggests that the ZP wiggles are caused by a standing sausage oscillation.

  12. A very small and super strong zebra pattern burst at the beginning of a solar flare

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tan, Baolin; Tan, Chengming; Zhang, Yin; Huang, Jing; Yan, Yihua [Key Laboratory of Solar Activity, National Astronomical Observatories of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100012 (China); Mészárosová, Hana; Karlický, Marian, E-mail: bltan@nao.cas.cn [Astronomical Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Ondřejov 15165 (Czech Republic)

    2014-08-01

    Microwave emission with spectral zebra pattern structures (ZPs) is frequently observed in solar flares and the Crab pulsar. The previous observations show that ZP is a structure only overlapped on the underlying broadband continuum with slight increments and decrements. This work reports an unusually strong ZP burst occurring at the beginning of a solar flare observed simultaneously by two radio telescopes located in China and the Czech Republic and by the EUV telescope on board NASA's satellite Solar Dynamics Observatory on 2013 April 11. It is a very short and super strong explosion whose intensity exceeds several times that of the underlying flaring broadband continuum emission, lasting for just 18 s. EUV images show that the flare starts from several small flare bursting points (FBPs). There is a sudden EUV flash with extra enhancement in one of these FBPs during the ZP burst. Analysis indicates that the ZP burst accompanying an EUV flash is an unusual explosion revealing a strong coherent process with rapid particle acceleration, violent energy release, and fast plasma heating simultaneously in a small region with a short duration just at the beginning of the flare.

  13. Inner-shell radiation from wire array implosions on the Zebra generator

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ouart, N. D.; Giuliani, J. L.; Dasgupta, A. [Plasma Physics Division, Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, District of Columbia 20375 (United States); Safronova, A. S.; Kantsyrev, V. L.; Esaulov, A. A.; Shrestha, I.; Weller, M. E.; Shlyaptseva, V.; Osborne, G. C.; Stafford, A.; Keim, S. [Physics Department, University of Nevada, Reno, Nevada 89557 (United States); Apruzese, J. P. [Consultant to NRL through Engility Corp., Chantilly, Virginia 20151 (United States); Clark, R. W. [Berkeley Research Associates, Beltsville, Maryland 20705 (United States)

    2014-03-15

    Implosions of brass wire arrays on Zebra have produced L-shell radiation as well as inner-shell Kα and Kβ transitions. The L-shell radiation comes from ionization stages around the Ne-like charge state that is largely populated by a thermal electron energy distribution function, while the K-shell photons are a result of high-energy electrons ionizing or exciting an inner-shell (1s) electron from ionization stages around Ne-like. The K- and L-shell radiations were captured using two time-gated and two axially resolved time-integrated spectrometers. The electron beam was measured using a Faraday cup. A multi-zone non-local thermodynamic equilibrium pinch model with radiation transport is used to model the x-ray emission from experiments for the purpose of obtaining plasma conditions. These plasma conditions are used to discuss some properties of the electron beam generated by runaway electrons. A simple model for runaway electrons is examined to produce the Kα radiation, but it is found to be insufficient.

  14. The estimation of herbage yields under fire and grazing treatments in the Mountain Zebra National Park

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. De Klerk

    2001-07-01

    Full Text Available The application of fire as a management tool is often used to change the species composition of the vegetation and its cover to maintain plant communities in a specific successional stage. This study investigates the influence of two fire treatments (a head and a back fire on the plateau grassland communities in the Mountain Zebra National Park (MZNP. The production of herbage yield on grazed areas and areas protected from grazing which were subjected to two fire treatments, were compared with that of an unburnt control area subjected to grazing in the same homogenous grassland over two growing seasons. No differences were found in herbage production between the two fire treatment areas. After the burn the grazing exclosures achieved the same herbage yield as the control area within two growing seasons. In comparison, the grazed areas could after the burn only achieve a herbage yield equal to 55.7 of that of the control area. The results indicate that fire stimulates active vegetation growth on the plateau grasslands in MZNP leading to a higher production rate and better utilisation by game.

  15. Microwave Zebra Pattern Structures in the X2.2 Solar Flare on Feb 15, 2011

    CERN Document Server

    Tan, Baolin; Tan, Chengming; Sych, Robert; Gao, Guannan

    2011-01-01

    Zebra pattern structure (ZP) is the most intriguing fine structure on the dynamic spectrograph of solar microwave burst. On 15 February 2011, there erupts an X2.2 flare event on the solar disk, it is the first X-class flare since the solar Schwabe cycle 24. It is interesting that there are several microwave ZPs observed by the Chinese Solar Broadband Radiospectrometer (SBRS/Huairou) at frequency of 6.40 ~ 7.00 GHz (ZP1), 2.60 ~ 2.75 GHz (ZP2), and the Yunnan Solar Broadband Radio Spectrometer (SBRS/Yunnan) at frequency of 1.04 ~ 1.13 GHz (ZP3). The most important phenomena is the unusual high-frequency ZP structure (ZP1, up to 7.00 GHz) occurred in the early rising phase of the flare, and there are two ZP structure (ZP2, ZP3) with relative low frequencies occurred in the decay phase of the flare. By scrutinizing the current prevalent theoretical models of ZP structure generations, and comparing their estimated magnetic field strengths in the corresponding source regions, we suggest that the double plasma reso...

  16. EVALUATION OF BIOTIC AND TREATMENT FACTORS RELATING TO BACTERIAL CONTROL OF ZEBRA MUSSELS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Daniel P. Molloy

    2002-04-30

    Testing over the last quarter has indicated the following regarding control of zebra mussels with bacterium Pseudomonas fluorescens strain CL0145A: (1) the concentration of bacteria suspended in water is directly correlated with mussel kill; (2) the ratio of bacterial mass per mussel, if too low, could limit mussel kill; a treatment must be done at a high enough ratio so that mussels do not deplete all the suspended bacteria before the end of the desired exposure period; (3) bacteria appear to lose almost all their toxicity after suspension for 24 hr in highly oxygenated water; (4) in a recirculating pipe system, the same percentage mussel kill will be achieved irrespective of whether all the bacteria are applied at once or divided up and applied intermittently in smaller quantities over a 10-hr period. Since this is the fourth quarterly report, a summation of all test results over the last twelve months is provided as a table in this report. The table includes the above-mentioned fourth-quarter results.

  17. Effect of a Sausage Oscillation on Radio Zebra-pattern Structures in a Solar Flare

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Sijie; Nakariakov, V. M.; Yan, Yihua

    2016-07-01

    Sausage modes that are axisymmetric fast magnetoacoustic oscillations of solar coronal loops are characterized by variation of the plasma density and magnetic field, and hence cause time variations of the electron plasma frequency and cyclotron frequency. The latter parameters determine the condition for the double plasma resonance (DPR), which is responsible for the appearance of zebra-pattern (ZP) structures in time spectra of solar type IV radio bursts. We perform numerical simulations of standing and propagating sausage oscillations in a coronal loop modeled as a straight, field-aligned plasma slab, and determine the time variation of the DPR layer locations. Instant values of the plasma density and magnetic field at the DPR layers allowed us to construct skeletons of the time variation of ZP stripes in radio spectra. In the presence of a sausage oscillation, the ZP structures are shown to have characteristic wiggles with the time period prescribed by the sausage oscillation. Standing and propagating sausage oscillations are found to have different signatures in ZP patterns. We conclude that ZP wiggles can be used for the detection of short-period sausage oscillations and the exploitation of their seismological potential.

  18. Multi-functional foot use during running in the zebra-tailed lizard (Callisaurus draconoides)

    CERN Document Server

    Li, Chen; Goldman, Daniel I; 10.1242/jeb.061937

    2013-01-01

    A diversity of animals that run on solid, level, flat, non-slip surfaces appear to bounce on their legs; elastic elements in the limbs can store and return energy during each step. The mechanics and energetics of running in natural terrain, particularly on surfaces that can yield and flow under stress, is less understood. The zebra-tailed lizard (Callisaurus draconoides), a small desert generalist with a large, elongate, tendinous hind foot, runs rapidly across a variety of natural substrates. We use high speed video to obtain detailed three-dimensional running kinematics on solid and granular surfaces to reveal how leg, foot, and substrate mechanics contribute to its high locomotor performance. Running at ~10 body length/s (~1 m/s), the center of mass oscillates like a spring-mass system on both substrates, with only 15% reduction in stride length on the granular surface. On the solid surface, a strut-spring model of the hind limb reveals that the hind foot saves about 40% of the mechanical work needed per s...

  19. Staged Z-pinch Simulations for the UNR, Nevada Terawatt Zebra Facility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ney, Paul; Rahman, Hafiz; Wessel, Frank; Narkis, Jeff; Valenzuela, Julio; Beg, Farhat; Presura, Radu; Darling, Tim; McKee, Erik; Covington, Aaron

    2015-11-01

    We simulate a Staged Z-pinch imploded on the 1 MA, 130 ns, 100 kJ, Nevada Terawatt Zebra Facility. The load is a magnetized, cylindrical, double gas-puff, plasma liner imploding onto a plasma target. Simulations use the 2-1/2 D, radiation-MHD code, MACH2. Three different liner gases are evaluated: Ar, Kr, and Xe and the target is either: DD, or DT, with a liner-plasma radius of: 1.0 cm and 2.0 cm, and a 5.0-mm thickness. Initial conditions are optimized to produce the highest neutron yield. Shocks propagate at different speeds in the liner and target, leading to a shock front at the interface. Magnetosonic shock waves pre-heat the target plasma and provide a stable implosion. The shock front provides a secondary conduction channel which builds up during implosion. The axial magnetic field controls the MRT instability and traps α-particles, leading to ignition. Magnetic flux is compressed, and at peak parameters the magnetic field and current density exceed, by an order of magnitude, values outside the pinch, providing a magneto-inertial confinement. A smaller radius provides 102 -103 × higher neutron yield. Funded by the US Department of Energy, ARPA-E, Control Number 1184-1527.

  20. [Determination of processing conditions for obtaining a pepitona (Arca zebra) hydrolysate for human consumption].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baixeras, S; Luna, G

    1985-12-01

    For the purpose of obtaining two protein hydrolysates from peptiona (Arca zebra), to be used as nutritional ingredients in accepted food items destined for human consumption, the enzymes bromelain and papain were studied. The effect of adding each of these proteases, on the rate of hydrolysis and conversion extent of insoluble pepitona protein to soluble nitrogen, were examined. Distilled water was added to the raw material to give a 2:1 ratio of solvent to pepitona, and mixed to produce a slurry at a pH of 6.4-6.5, with a total nitrogen value of 0.97% (w/v). Optimum conditions of hydrolysis were found to be two hours at 40 degrees C for both enzymes, at a pH of 7 and 0.3 g enzyme/100 g pepitona for papain, and a 0.2 g enzyme/100 g pepitona at pH 6.4 normally found in pepitona in the case of bromelain.

  1. Zebra pattern in rocks as a function of grain growth affected by second-phase particles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ulrich eKelka

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available In this communication we present a simple microdynamic model which can explain the beginning of the zebra pattern formation in rocks. The two dimensional model consists of two main processes, mineral replacement along a reaction front, and grain boundary migration affected by impurities. In the numerical model we assume that an initial distribution of second-phase particles is present due to sedimentary layering. The reaction front percolates the model and redistributes second-phase particles by shifting them until the front is saturated and drops the particles again. This produces and enhances initial layering. Grain growth is hindered in layers with high second-phase particle concentrations whereas layers with low concentrations coarsen. Due to the grain growth activity in layers with low second-phase particle concentrations these impurities are collected at grain boundaries and the crystals become very clean. Therefore the white layers in the pattern contain large grains with low concentration of second-phase particles, whereas the dark layers contain small grains with a large second-phase particle concentration.

  2. Frequency Dependence of Polarization of Zebra Pattern in Type-IV Solar Radio Bursts

    CERN Document Server

    Kaneda, Kazutaka; Iwai, Kazumasa; Tsuchiya, Fuminori; Obara, Takahiro

    2015-01-01

    We investigated the polarization characteristics of a zebra pattern (ZP) in a type-IV solar radio burst observed with AMATERAS on 2011 June 21 for the purpose of evaluating the generation processes of ZP. Analyzing highly resolved spectral and polarization data revealed the frequency dependence of the degree of circular polarization and the delay between two polarized components for the first time. The degree of circular polarization was 50-70 percent right-handed and it varied little as a function of frequency. Cross-correlation analysis determined that the left-handed circularly polarized component was delayed by 50-70 ms relative to the right-handed component over the entire frequency range of the ZP and this delay increased with the frequency. We examined the obtained polarization characteristics by using pre-existing ZP models and concluded that the ZP was generated by the double plasma resonance process. Our results suggest that the ZP emission was originally generated in a completely polarized state in...

  3. The beak of the other finch: coevolution of genetic covariance structure and developmental modularity during adaptive evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Badyaev, Alexander V

    2010-04-12

    The link between adaptation and evolutionary change remains the most central and least understood evolutionary problem. Rapid evolution and diversification of avian beaks is a textbook example of such a link, yet the mechanisms that enable beak's precise adaptation and extensive adaptability are poorly understood. Often observed rapid evolutionary change in beaks is particularly puzzling in light of the neo-Darwinian model that necessitates coordinated changes in developmentally distinct precursors and correspondence between functional and genetic modularity, which should preclude evolutionary diversification. I show that during first 19 generations after colonization of a novel environment, house finches (Carpodacus mexicanus) express an array of distinct, but adaptively equivalent beak morphologies-a result of compensatory developmental interactions between beak length and width in accommodating microevolutionary change in beak depth. Directional selection was largely confined to the elimination of extremes formed by these developmental interactions, while long-term stabilizing selection along a single axis-beak depth-was mirrored in the structure of beak's additive genetic covariance. These results emphasize three principal points. First, additive genetic covariance structure may represent a historical record of the most recurrent developmental and functional interactions. Second, adaptive equivalence of beak configurations shields genetic and developmental variation in individual components from depletion by natural selection. Third, compensatory developmental interactions among beak components can generate rapid reorganization of beak morphology under novel conditions and thus greatly facilitate both the evolution of precise adaptation and extensive diversification, thereby linking adaptation and adaptability in this classic example of Darwinian evolution.

  4. The effects of sun exposure on carotenoid accumulation and oxidative stress in the retina of the House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Matthew B Toomey; Kevin J McGraw

    2016-01-01

    Background: Diet-derived carotenoid pigments are concentrated in the retinas of birds and serve a variety of func-tions, including photoprotection. In domesticated bird species (e.g., chickens and quail), retinal carotenoid pigmenta-tion has been shown to respond to large manipulations in light exposure and provide protection against photodam-age. However, it is not known if or how wild birds respond to ecologically relevant variation in sun exposure. Methods: We manipulated the duration of natural sunlight exposure and dietary carotenoid levels in wild-caught captive House Finches (Haemorhous mexicanus), then measured carotenoid accumulation and oxidative stress in the retina. Results: We found no signiifcant effects of sun exposure on retinal levels of carotenoids or lipid peroxidation, in rep-licate experiments, in winter (Jan–Mar) and spring/summer (May–June). Dietary carotenoid supplementation in the spring/summer experiment led to signiifcantly higher retinal carotenoid levels, but did not affect lipid peroxidation. Carotenoid levels differed signiifcantly between the winter and spring/summer experiments, with higher retinal and lower plasma carotenoid levels in birds from the later experiment. Conclusion: Our results suggest that variation in the duration of exposure to direct sunlight have limited inlfuence on intraspeciifc variation in retinal carotenoid accumulation, but that accumulation may track other seasonal–envi-ronmental cues and physiological processes.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  6. Epstein-Barr virus-encoded EBNA1 and ZEBRA: targets for therapeutic strategies against EBV-carrying cancers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daskalogianni, Chrysoula; Pyndiah, Slovénie; Apcher, Sébastien; Mazars, Anne; Manoury, Bénédicte; Ammari, Nisrine; Nylander, Karin; Voisset, Cécile; Blondel, Marc; Fåhraeus, Robin

    2015-01-01

    The EBV-encoded EBNA1 was first discovered 40 years ago, approximately 10 years after the presence of EBV had been demonstrated in Burkitt's lymphoma cells. It took another 10 years before the functions of EBNA1 in maintaining the viral genome were revealed, and it has since been shown to be an essential viral factor expressed in all EBV-carrying cells. Apart from serving to maintain the viral episome and to control viral replication and gene expression, EBNA1 also harbours a cis-acting mechanism that allows virus-carrying host cells to evade the immune system. This relates to a particular glycine-alanine repeat (GAr) within EBNA1 that has the capacity to suppress antigen presentation to the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I pathway. We discuss the role of the GAr sequence at the level of mRNA translation initiation, rather than at the protein level, as at least part of the mechanism to avoid MHC presentation. Interfering with this mechanism has become the focus of the development of immune-based therapies against EBV-carrying cancers, and some lead compounds that affect translation of GAr-carrying mRNAs have been identified. In addition, we describe the EBV-encoded ZEBRA factor and the switch from the latent to the lytic cycle as an alternative virus-specific target for treating EBV-carrying cancers. Understanding the molecular mechanisms of how EBNA1 and ZEBRA interfere with cellular pathways not only opens new therapeutic approaches but continues to reveal new cell-biological insights on the interplay between host and virus. This review is a tale of discoveries relating to how EBNA1 and ZEBRA have emerged as targets for specific cancer therapies against EBV-carrying diseases, and serves as an illustration of how mRNA translation can play roles in future immune-based strategies to target viral disease.

  7. Extracellular acidification activates ovarian cancer G-protein-coupled receptor 1 and GPR4 homologs of zebra fish

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mochimaru, Yuta [Laboratory of Cell Signaling Regulation, Department of Life Sciences, School of Agriculture, Meiji University, Kawasaki 214-8571 (Japan); Azuma, Morio [Laboratory of Regulatory Biology, Graduate School of Science and Engineering, University of Toyama, 3190 Gofuku, Toyama 930-8555 (Japan); Oshima, Natsuki; Ichijo, Yuta; Satou, Kazuhiro [Laboratory of Cell Signaling Regulation, Department of Life Sciences, School of Agriculture, Meiji University, Kawasaki 214-8571 (Japan); Matsuda, Kouhei [Laboratory of Regulatory Biology, Graduate School of Science and Engineering, University of Toyama, 3190 Gofuku, Toyama 930-8555 (Japan); Asaoka, Yoichi; Nishina, Hiroshi [Department of Developmental and Regenerative Biology, Medical Research Institute, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo 113-8510 (Japan); Nakakura, Takashi [Department of Anatomy, Graduate School of Medicine, Teikyo University, 2-11-1 Kaga Itabashi-Ku, Tokyo 173-8605 (Japan); Mogi, Chihiro; Sato, Koichi; Okajima, Fumikazu [Laboratory of Signal Transduction, Institute for Molecular and Cellular Regulation, Gunma University, Maebashi 371-8512 (Japan); Tomura, Hideaki, E-mail: tomurah@meiji.ac.jp [Laboratory of Cell Signaling Regulation, Department of Life Sciences, School of Agriculture, Meiji University, Kawasaki 214-8571 (Japan)

    2015-02-20

    Mammalian ovarian G-protein-coupled receptor 1 (OGR1) and GPR4 are identified as a proton-sensing G-protein-coupled receptor coupling to multiple intracellular signaling pathways. In the present study, we examined whether zebra fish OGR1 and GPR4 homologs (zOGR1 and zGPR4) could sense protons and activate the multiple intracellular signaling pathways and, if so, whether the similar positions of histidine residue, which is critical for sensing protons in mammalian OGR and GPR4, also play a role to sense protons and activate the multiple signaling pathways in the zebra fish receptors. We found that extracellular acidic pH stimulated CRE-, SRE-, and NFAT-promoter activities in zOGR1 overexpressed cells and stimulated CRE- and SRE- but not NFAT-promoter activities in zGPR4 overexpressed cells. The substitution of histidine residues at the 12th, 15th, 162th, and 264th positions from the N-terminal of zOGR1 with phenylalanine attenuated the proton-induced SRE-promoter activities. The mutation of the histidine residue at the 78th but not the 84th position from the N-terminal of zGPR4 to phenylalanine attenuated the proton-induced SRE-promoter activities. These results suggest that zOGR1 and zGPR4 are also proton-sensing G-protein-coupled receptors, and the receptor activation mechanisms may be similar to those of the mammalian receptors. - Highlights: • Zebra fish OGR1 and GPR4 homologs (zOGR1, zGPR4) are proton-sensing receptors. • The signaling pathways activated by zOGR1 and zGPR4 are different. • Histidine residues critical for sensing protons are conserved.

  8. Zebra mussel beds: an effective feeding ground for Ponto-Caspian gobies or suitable shelter for their prey?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jarosław Kobak

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Aggregations of the Ponto-Caspian invasive zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha constitute a suitable habitat for macroinvertebrates, considerably increasing their abundance and providing effective antipredator protection. Thus, the overall effect of a mussel bed on particular predator species may vary from positive to negative, depending on both prey density increase and predator ability to prey in a structurally complex habitat. Alien Ponto-Caspian goby fish are likely to be facilitated when introduced into new areas by zebra mussels, provided that they are capable of utilizing mussel beds as habitat and feeding grounds. We ran laboratory experiments to find which prey (chironomid larvae densities (from ca. 500 to 2,000 individuals m−2 in a mussel bed make it a more beneficial feeding ground for the racer goby Babka gymnotrachelus (RG and western tubenose goby Proterorhinus semilunaris (WTG compared to sandy and stone substrata (containing the basic prey density of 500 ind. m−2. Moreover, we checked how food availability affects habitat selection by fish. Mussel beds became more suitable for fish than alternative mineral substrata when food abundance was at least two times higher (1,000 vs. 500 ind. m−2, regardless of fish size and species. WTG was associated with mussel beds regardless of its size and prey density, whereas RG switched to this habitat when it became a better feeding ground than alternative substrata. Larger RG exhibited a stronger affinity for mussels than small individuals. WTG fed more efficiently from a mussel bed at high food abundances than RG. A literature review has shown that increasing chironomid density, which in our study was sufficient to make a mussel habitat an attractive feeding ground for the gobies, is commonly observed in mussel beds in the field. Therefore, we conclude that zebra mussels may positively affect the alien goby species and are likely to facilitate their establishment in novel areas

  9. Alteration of antioxidant enzymes and impairment of DNA in the SiO2 nanoparticles exposed zebra fish (Danio rerio).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramesh, R; Kavitha, P; Kanipandian, N; Arun, S; Thirumurugan, R; Subramanian, P

    2013-07-01

    The incorporation of nanoparticles in industrial and biomedical applications has increased significantly in recent years, yet their hazardous and toxic effects have not been studied extensively. While standard toxicological test methods are generally capable of detecting the toxic effects, the choice of relevant methods for nanomaterials is still discussed. Among the various oxide nanomaterials, silica nanoparticles are widely used in biological applications that include nano-medicine. But studies on adverse effects of silica nanoparticle exposure to fish remain unclear. Therefore, the present study was designed to investigate the oxidative toxic effects of silicon dioxide nanoparticles using fish model. The size of the SiO2 nanoparticles was between 68 and 100 nm which was confirmed by X-ray diffractometer, dynamic light scattering, scanning electron microscope and transmission electron microscope. The zebra fish were exposed to sub-lethal concentrations (5 and 2.5 mg/L) of characterized SiO2 nanoparticles for a period of 7 days. After 7 days, SiO2 nanoparticle-treated fishes were sacrificed, and tissues such as liver, muscle and gill were dissected out for the analysis of antioxidant enzymes and DNA fragmentation. The DNA profiles were analysed in the tissues of zebra fish that treated with SiO2 nanoparticles. Tissues of fish from clean water were used as control, and DNA profiles were analysed. It is found that DNA from control tissues was intact, whereas the tissues treated with SiO2 were all fragmented. SiO2 nanoparticle-mediated antioxidant enzymes activities, such as catalase, superoxide dismutase, glutathione (GSH)-S-transferase, glutathione reductase and GSH, in the tissues of zebra fish were measured. The results revealed that alteration of antioxidant enzymes due to SiO2 nanoparticle can be considered as a biomarker to SiO2-mediated oxidative stress in biological samples.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. In search of greener pastures: Using satellite images to predict the effects of environmental change on zebra migration