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Monday, 16 March 2015

What's new for 'birdRS' in PubMed: March 2015, Week 1

This message contains My NCBI what's new results from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) at the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM).

PubMed Results

1. Environ Toxicol Chem. 2015 Mar 11. doi: 10.1002/etc.2976. [Epub ahead of print]

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

Ou L1, Varian-Ramos CW, Cristol DA.
Author information:
Ministry of Education Laboratory of Earth Surface Process, College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing, China; Institute for Integrative Bird Behavior Studies, Department of Biology, College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia, USA.


Bird eggs are widely used as noninvasive bioindicators for environmental mercury availability. However, previous studies have found varying relationships between laying sequence and egg mercury concentrations. Some studies have reported that the mercury concentration is higher in first-laid eggs or declines across the laying sequence, whereas in other studies mercury concentration was not related to egg order. Approximately 300 eggs (61 clutches) were collected from captive zebra finches dosed throughout their reproductive lives with methylmercury (0.3, 0.6, 1.2 or 2.4 μg/g wet weight in diet); the total mercury concentration (mean ± SD dry weight basis) of their eggs was 7.03 ± 1.38 μg/g, 14.15 ± 2.52 μg/g, 26.85 ± 5.85 μg/g and 49.76 ± 10.37 μg/g, respectively (equivalent to fresh weight egg mercury concentrations of 1.24, 2.50, 4.74, and 8.79 μg/g). There was a significant decrease in the mercury concentration of successive eggs when compared with the first egg, and notable variation between clutches within treatments. The mercury level of individual females within and among treatments did not alter this relationship. Based on our results, sampling of a single egg in each clutch from anywhere in the laying sequence is sufficient for purposes of population risk assessment, but it is not recommended as a proxy for individual female exposure or as an estimate of average mercury level within the clutch. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
PMID: 25760460 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

2. Mitochondrial DNA. 2015 Mar 11:1-2. [Epub ahead of print]

Complete mitochondrial genome of Grey-headed Lapwing Vanellus cinereus (Ciconiiformes: Charadriidae).

She H1, Zhao G, Zhou L, Gu C.
Author information:
1 School of Resources and Environmental Engineering, Anhui University , Hefei , P.R. China .


The Grey-headed Lapwing (Vanellus cinereus) is a Vanellus bird belonging to the group Ciconiiformes, which breeds in northeast China and Japan. In this study, we sequenced its complete mitochondrial genome by PCR-based method. The mitochondrial DNA is packaged in a compact 17,135 based pair (bp) circular molecule with A + T content of 55.14%. It contains 37 typical mitochondrial genes, including 13 protein-coding genes, 2 rRNAs and 22 tRNAs and a non-coding control region (D-loop). All protein-coding genes are initiated by ATG codon, except for the COI gene and ND5 gene starting with GTG codon, and ND3 uses ATC codon. TAA is the most frequent stop codon. All tRNAs possess the classic cloverleaf secondary structure except for tRNASer(AGY) and tRNALeu(CUN), which lack the ''DHU'' stem. The D-loop is a 1563 bp long A + T-rich region, which is located between tRNAGlu and tRNAPhe.
PMID: 25758042 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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3. J Anim Ecol. 2015 Mar 11. doi: 10.1111/1365-2656.12364. [Epub ahead of print]

Drivers of climate change impacts on bird communities.

Pearce-Higgins JW1, Eglington SM, Martay B, Chamberlain DE.
Author information:
British Trust for Ornithology, The Nunnery, Thetford, Norfolk, IP24 2PU, UK.


1.Climate change is reported to have caused widespread changes to species' populations and ecological communities. Warming has been associated with population declines in long-distance migrants and habitat specialists, and increases in southerly distributed species. However, the specific climatic drivers behind these changes remain undescribed. 2.We analysed annual fluctuations in the abundance of 59 breeding bird species in England over 45 years to test the effect of monthly temperature and precipitation means upon population trends. 3.Strong positive correlations between population growth and both winter and breeding season temperature were identified for resident and short-distance migrants. Lagged correlations between population growth and summer temperature and precipitation identified for the first time a widespread negative impact of hot, dry summer weather. Resident populations appeared to increase following wet autumns. Populations of long-distance migrants were negatively affected by May temperature, consistent with a potential negative effect of phenological mismatch upon breeding success. There was evidence for some non-linear relationships between monthly weather variables and population growth. 4.Habitat specialists and cold-associated species showed consistently more negative effects of higher temperatures than habitat generalists and southerly-distributed species associated with warm temperatures, suggesting that previously reported changes in community composition represent the accumulated effects of spring and summer warming. 5.Long-term population trends were more significantly correlated with species' sensitivity to temperature than precipitation, suggesting that warming had had a greater impact on population trends than changes in precipitation. Months where there had been the greatest warming were the most influential drivers of long-term change. There was also evidence that species with the greatest sensitivity to extremes of precipitation have tended to decline. 6. Our results provide novel insights about the impact of climate change on bird communities. Significant lagged effects highlight the potential for altered species' interactions to drive observed climate change impacts, although some community changes may have been driven by more immediate responses to warming. In England, resident and short-distance migrant populations have increased in response to climate change, but potentially at the expense of long-distance migrants, habitat-specialists and cold-associated species. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
PMID: 25757576 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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4. J Exp Zool A Ecol Genet Physiol. 2015 Mar 10. doi: 10.1002/jez.1923. [Epub ahead of print]

Breeding on the extreme edge: Modulation of the adrenocortical response to acute stress in two High Arctic passerines.

Walker BG1, Meddle SL, Romero LM, Landys MM, Reneerkens J, Wingfield JC.
Author information:
Department of Biology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington; Department of Biology, Fairfield University, Fairfield, Connecticut.


Arctic weather in spring is unpredictable and can also be extreme, so Arctic-breeding birds must be flexible in their breeding to deal with such variability. Unpredictability in weather conditions will only intensify with climate change and this in turn could affect reproductive capability of migratory birds. Adjustments to coping strategies are therefore crucial, so here we examined the plasticity of the adrenocorticotropic stress response in two Arctic songbird species-the snow bunting (Plectrophenax nivalis) and Lapland longspur (Calcarius lapponicus)-breeding in northwest Greenland. Across the breeding season, the stress response was strongest at arrival and least robust during molt in male snow buntings. Snow bunting females had higher baseline but similar stress-induced corticosterone levels compared to males. Modification of the stress response was not due to adrenal insensitivity, but likely regulated at the anterior pituitary gland. Compared to independent nestlings and adult snow buntings, parental-dependent chicks had a more robust stress response. For Lapland longspurs, baseline corticosterone was highest at arrival in both male and females, and arriving males displayed a higher stress response compared to arriving females. Comparison of male corticosterone profiles collected at arrival in Greenland (76°N) and Alaska (67-71°N;) reveal that both species have higher stress responses at the more northern location. Flexibility in the stress response may be typical for birds nesting at the leading edges of their range and this ability will become more relevant as global climate change results in major shifts of breeding habitat and phenology for migratory birds. J. Exp. Zool. 9999A: 1-10, 2015. Copyright © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
© 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
PMID: 25757443 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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5. Nat Commun. 2015 Mar 10;6:6376. doi: 10.1038/ncomms7376.

Bird-flower visitation networks in the Galápagos unveil a widespread interaction release.

Traveset A1, Olesen JM2, Nogales M3, Vargas P4, Jaramillo P5, Antolín E6, Trigo MM6, Heleno R7.
Author information:
Institut Mediterrani d'Estudis Avançats (CSIC-UIB), Department of Biodiversity and Conservation, C/ Miquel Marqués 21, Esporles, Mallorca 07190, Balearic Islands, Spain.
Aarhus University, Department of Bioscience, Ny Munkegade 114, Aarhus C DK-8000, Denmark.
Instituto de Productos Naturales y Agrobiología (CSIC-IPNA), Island Ecology and Evolution Research Group, 38206 Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain.
Real Jardín Botánico (CSIC-RJB), Department of Biodiversity and Conservation, Plaza de Murillo, 2, 28014 Madrid, Spain.
Charles Darwin Foundation, Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz Island, Galápagos, 200350 Quito, Ecuador.
Universidad de Málaga, Department of Plant Biology, Apdo. 59, E-29080 Málaga, Spain.
7 [1] Institut Mediterrani d'Estudis Avançats (CSIC-UIB), Department of Biodiversity and Conservation, C/ Miquel Marqués 21, Esporles, Mallorca 07190, Balearic Islands, Spain. [2] Centre for Functional Ecology, Department of Life Sciences, University of Coimbra, Calçada Martim de Freitas, Coimbra 3000-456, Portugal.


Owing to food scarcity and to the high densities that vertebrates often reach on islands, typical insect- and seed-eaters widen their feeding niche and interact with a greater fraction of species than their mainland counterparts. This phenomenon, coined here 'interaction release', has been previously reported for single species but never for an entire community. During 4 years, we gathered data on bird-flower visitation on 12 Galápagos islands. We show that all sampled land birds exploit floral resources and act as potential pollinators across the entire archipelago, in all major habitats and all year round. Although species and link composition varies among islands, strong interaction release takes place on all islands, making their bird-flower network highly generalized. Interaction release is crucial to the survival of native birds but simultaneously threatens the unique biodiversity of this archipelago, as the birds also visit invading plants, likely facilitating their integration into pristine native communities.
PMID: 25757227 [PubMed - in process]

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6. PeerJ. 2015 Feb 26;3:e807. doi: 10.7717/peerj.807. eCollection 2015.

Genetic divergence between populations of feral and domestic forms of a mosquito disease vector assessed by transcriptomics.

Price DC1, Fonseca DM1.
Author information:
Department of Entomology, Rutgers University , New Brunswick, NJ , USA.


Culex pipiens, an invasive mosquito and vector of West Nile virus in the US, has two morphologically indistinguishable forms that differ dramatically in behavior and physiology. Cx. pipiens form pipiens is primarily a bird-feeding temperate mosquito, while the sub-tropical Cx. pipiens form molestus thrives in sewers and feeds on mammals. Because the feral form can diapause during the cold winters but the domestic form cannot, the two Cx. pipiens forms are allopatric in northern Europe and, although viable, hybrids are rare. Cx. pipiens form molestus has spread across all inhabited continents and hybrids of the two forms are common in the US. Here we elucidate the genes and gene families with the greatest divergence rates between these phenotypically diverged mosquito populations, and discuss them in light of their potential biological and ecological effects. After generating and assembling novel transcriptome data for each population, we performed pairwise tests for nonsynonymous divergence (Ka) of homologous coding sequences and examined gene ontology terms that were statistically over-represented in those sequences with the greatest divergence rates. We identified genes involved in digestion (serine endopeptidases), innate immunity (fibrinogens and α-macroglobulins), hemostasis (D7 salivary proteins), olfaction (odorant binding proteins) and chitin binding (peritrophic matrix proteins). By examining molecular divergence between closely related yet phenotypically divergent forms of the same species, our results provide insights into the identity of rapidly-evolving genes between incipient species. Additionally, we found that families of signal transducers, ATP synthases and transcription regulators remained identical at the amino acid level, thus constituting conserved components of the Cx. pipiens proteome. We provide a reference with which to gauge the divergence reported in this analysis by performing a comparison of transcriptome sequences from conspecific (yet allopatric) populations of another member of the Cx. pipiens complex, Cx. quinquefasciatus.
PMCID: PMC4349049 Free PMC Article
PMID: 25755934 [PubMed]

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7. Sci Justice. 2015 Mar;55(2):90-6. doi: 10.1016/j.scijus.2014.12.004. Epub 2015 Jan 5.

An investigation into the detection of latent marks on the feathers and eggs of birds of prey.

McMorris H1, Farrugia K1, Gentles D2.
Author information:
School of Science, Engineering & Technology, Division of Computing and Forensic Sciences, Abertay University, Dundee DD1 1HG, UK.
School of Science, Engineering & Technology, Division of Computing and Forensic Sciences, Abertay University, Dundee DD1 1HG, UK. Electronic address:


There are numerous enhancement techniques (physical and chemical) which have been developed for the successful visualisation of latent fingermarks. Nonetheless, problems arise when latent fingermarks require enhancement on difficult surfaces such as human skin, food stuffs, fabric and animals. The ability to develop latent fingermarks on the surface of bird of prey feathers and that of their eggs was investigated. Red and green magnetic fluorescent powders proved to be most suitable on the surface of bird of prey feathers whereas black magnetic powder was the most suitable technique on the eggs. These powders produced the highest quality of visible ridge-detailed developments over a controlled period of time.
Copyright © 2014 Forensic Science Society. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
PMID: 25753993 [PubMed - in process]

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8. Transbound Emerg Dis. 2015 Mar 6. doi: 10.1111/tbed.12341. [Epub ahead of print]

West Nile Disease Epidemiology in North-West Africa: Bibliographical Review.

Benjelloun A1, El Harrak M, Belkadi B.
Author information:
Laboratory of Microbiology and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Science, University Mohammed V, Rabat, Morocco; Poste de Commandement Central de Lutte Contre La Grippe Aviaire, Rabat, Morocco.


West Nile fever (WNF) or West Nile disease (WND) is a mosquito-borne viral disease that can affect birds, humans and horses. West Nile virus (WNV) is a member of the genus Flavivirus in the family Flaviviridae. WNV is maintained in a mosquito-bird-mosquito transmission cycle, whereas humans and horses are considered dead-end hosts. In human and horses, symptoms range from unapparent infection to mild febrile illness, meningitis, encephalitis or death. WNV has a wide geographical range that includes portions of Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia (Kunjin virus), and in North, Central and South America. Migratory birds are thought to be primarily responsible for virus dispersal, including reintroduction of WNV from endemic areas into regions that experience sporadic outbreaks (Fields Virology, 2001, Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, 1043-1125). The occurrence of disease in humans and animals along with birds and mosquitoes surveillance for WNV activity demonstrates that the virus range has dramatically expanded including North, Central and South America as well as Europe and countries facing the Mediterranean Basin. WND infection in humans has been reported in Morocco in 1996 (Virologie, 1, 1997, 248), in Tunisia in 2007 (Ann. N. Y. Acad., 951, 2001, 117) (Med. Trop., 61, 2001, 487) and 2003 (Epidémiologie de la fièvre West Nile, 2012, Thèse de doctorat, Université Montpellier II, Sciences et techniques du Langueduc, Montpellier, France), and in Algeria in 1994 (Rev. Sci. Tech., 31, 2012, 829). Outbreaks of equine encephalitis have been also reported in Morocco in 1996 (Bull. OIE, 11, 1996, 867), in 2003 (Emerg. Infect. Dis., 11, 2005, 306) and in 2010 (World Animal Health Information Database. WAHID, 2010). Serological evidence of WNV has been demonstrated in the three countries in many species. The aim of this review was to assess the epidemiological situation of WND in north-west Africa comprising Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia, with an updated literature review based on of human cases and equine outbreaks reports as well as serological studies in these countries.
© 2015 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.
PMID: 25753775 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

9. J Evol Biol. 2015 Mar 9. doi: 10.1111/jeb.12614. [Epub ahead of print]

Digging for gold nuggets: uncovering novel candidate genes for variation in gastrointestinal nematode burden in a wild bird species.

Wenzel MA1, Piertney SB.
Author information:
Institute of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Tillydrone Avenue, Aberdeen, AB24 2TZ, UK.


The extent to which genotypic variation at a priori identified candidate genes can explain variation in complex phenotypes is a major debate in evolutionary biology. Whilst some high-profile genes such as the MHC or MC1R clearly do account for variation in ecologically relevant characters, many complex phenotypes such as response to parasite infection may well be underpinned by a large number of genes, each of small and effectively undetectable effect. Here, we characterise a suite of novel candidate genes for variation in gastrointestinal nematode (Trichostrongylus tenuis) burden among red grouse (Lagopus lagopus scotica) individuals across a network of moors in north-east Scotland. We test for associations between parasite load and genotypic variation in twelve genes previously identified to be differentially expressed in experimentally infected red grouse or genetically differentiated among red grouse populations with naturally different parasite loads. These genes are associated with a broad physiological response including immune system processes. Based on individual-level generalized linear models, genotypic variants in nine genes were significantly associated with parasite load, with effect sizes accounting for differences of 514-666 worms per bird. All but one of these variants were synonymous or untranslated, suggesting that these may be linked to protein-coding variants or affect regulatory processes. In contrast, population-level analyses revealed few and inconsistent associations with parasite load, and little evidence of signatures of natural selection. We discuss the broader significance of these contrasting results in the context of the utility of population genomics and landscape genomics approaches in detecting adaptive genomic signatures. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
PMID: 25752450 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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10. Wei Sheng Wu Xue Bao. 2014 Nov 4;54(11):1353-61.

Comparison of immunoprotection between vaccination with meq-deleted Marek's disease virus and vaccine strain CVI988/Rispens.

[Article in Chinese]
Duan L, Su S, Wang Y, Li S, Sun P, Chen W, Cui Z.



To evaluate and compare the immunoprotection between a meq-deleted Marek's disease virus (MDV) and CVI988/Rispens against MDV very virulent strain GX0101.


In total 120 one-day-old SPF chickens were divided into 4 groups (30 each) and kept in 5 isolators with positive pressure-filtered air. At 1 day of age, 2000 PFU of SC9-1 was inoculated subcutaneously into each bird in group 1; 2000 PFU of commercial vaccine CVI988/ Rispens was inoculated subcutaneously into each bird in group 2. No viral challenge was made in group 3 and 4 as controls. Five days later chickens in group 1, 2, 3 were challenged intra-abdominally with 2000 PFU of very virulent MDV strain GX0101. During 90 days after challenge, all dead birds were recorded and checked for necropsy. The tumor-suspected tissues were examined by histopathological biopsy. The antibody titers induced by AIV and NDV vaccination and propagation dynamics of MDV GX0101 were detected. At the same time, parallel tests were performed on Hy-Line Brown chickens containing MDV maternal antibody.


SC9-1 stain provided 100% protective efficiency against very virulent GX0101 challenge in SPF and Hy-Line Brown chickens. CVI988/Rispens provided 86. 7% protective efficiency against very virulent GX0101 challenge in SPF chickens and 93% in Hy-Line Brown chickens. Challenge with GX0101 caused 53.3% mortality and 16.7% of birds with gross tumors in SPF chickens while there was 36.7% mortality and 16.7% of birds with gross tumors in Hy-Line Brown chickens, and there was no tumor lesion in histopathological biopsy in control group. The results of qPCR demonstrated that the copies of GX0101 viral genomes in SC9-1 vaccinated chickens was lower than CVI988/Rispens vaccinated chickens in lymphocyte and feather follicle DNA. The results of hemagglutination inhibition test demonstrated that antibody titers of AIV and NDV was higher in SC9-1 vaccinated chickens than that in CVI988/Rispens vaccinated chickens.


SC9-1 stain's immunoprotection against MDV is more effective than CVI988/Rispens strain's both in SPF chickens and commercial Hy-Line Brown chickens containing maternal antibody.
PMID: 25752142 [PubMed - in process]

11. AoB Plants. 2015 Mar 5. pii: plv017. [Epub ahead of print]

Relative importance of phenotypic trait matching and species' abundances in determining plant-avian seed dispersal interactions in a small insular community.

González-Castro A1, Yang S2, Nogales M3, Carlo TA4.
Author information:
Island Ecology and Evolution Research Group (CSIC-IPNA), C/ Astrofísico Francisco Sánchez nº 3, 38206, La Laguna, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain Department of Biology, Pennsylvania State University, 208 Mueller Laboratory, University Park, PA 16802, USA Present address: Instituto de Ciencia Innovación Tecnología y Saberes Universidad Nacional de Chimborazo, Avenida Antonio José de Sucre, Riobamba, Ecuador
Department of Biology, Pennsylvania State University, 208 Mueller Laboratory, University Park, PA 16802, USA Present address: Biology Department, Presbyterian College, 503 South Broad Street, Clinton, SC 29325, USA.
Island Ecology and Evolution Research Group (CSIC-IPNA), C/ Astrofísico Francisco Sánchez nº 3, 38206, La Laguna, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain.
Department of Biology, Pennsylvania State University, 208 Mueller Laboratory, University Park, PA 16802, USA.


Network theory has provided a general way to understand mutualistic plant-animal interactions at the community level. Still, the mechanisms responsible for interaction patterns remain controversial. In this study we use a combination of statistical models and probability matrices to evaluate the relative importance of species morphological and nutritional (phenotypic) traits and species abundance in determining interactions between fleshy-fruited plants and birds that disperse their seeds. Models included variables associated with species abundance, a suite of variables associated with phenotypic traits (fruit diameter, bird bill width, fruit nutrient compounds), and the species identity of the avian disperser. Results show that both phenotypic traits and species abundance are important determinants of pairwise interactions. However, when considered separately, fruit diameter and bill width were more important in determining seed dispersal interactions. The effect of fruit compounds was less substantial and only important when considered together with abundance-related variables and/or the factor 'animal species'.
Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company.
Free Article
PMID: 25750409 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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12. PLoS One. 2015 Mar 6;10(3):e0120014. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0120014. eCollection 2015.

Poor Transferability of Species Distribution Models for a Pelagic Predator, the Grey Petrel, Indicates Contrasting Habitat Preferences across Ocean Basins.

Torres LG1, Sutton PJ2, Thompson DR2, Delord K3, Weimerskirch H3, Sagar PM4, Sommer E5, Dilley BJ6, Ryan PG6, Phillips RA7.
Author information:
Marine Mammal Institute, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Oregon State University, Newport, Oregon, United States of America.
National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Ltd., Hataitai, Wellington, New Zealand.
Centre d'Etudes Biologiques de Chizé,-CNRS UPR 1934, Villiers en Bois, France.
National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Ltd., Riccarton, Christchurch, New Zealand.
Denny Ecology, Cambridge, United Kingdom.
Percy FitzPatrick Institute, DST/NRF Centre of Excellence, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch, South Africa.
British Antarctic Survey, Natural Environment Research Council, High Cross, Madingley Road, Cambridge, United Kingdom.


Species distribution models (SDMs) are increasingly applied in conservation management to predict suitable habitat for poorly known populations. High predictive performance of SDMs is evident in validations performed within the model calibration area (interpolation), but few studies have assessed SDM transferability to novel areas (extrapolation), particularly across large spatial scales or pelagic ecosystems. We performed rigorous SDM validation tests on distribution data from three populations of a long-ranging marine predator, the grey petrel Procellaria cinerea, to assess model transferability across the Southern Hemisphere (25-65°S). Oceanographic data were combined with tracks of grey petrels from two remote sub-Antarctic islands (Antipodes and Kerguelen) using boosted regression trees to generate three SDMs: one for each island population, and a combined model. The predictive performance of these models was assessed using withheld tracking data from within the model calibration areas (interpolation), and from a third population, Marion Island (extrapolation). Predictive performance was assessed using k-fold cross validation and point biserial correlation. The two population-specific SDMs included the same predictor variables and suggested birds responded to the same broad-scale oceanographic influences. However, all model validation tests, including of the combined model, determined strong interpolation but weak extrapolation capabilities. These results indicate that habitat use reflects both its availability and bird preferences, such that the realized distribution patterns differ for each population. The spatial predictions by the three SDMs were compared with tracking data and fishing effort to demonstrate the conservation pitfalls of extrapolating SDMs outside calibration regions. This exercise revealed that SDM predictions would have led to an underestimate of overlap with fishing effort and potentially misinformed bycatch mitigation efforts. Although SDMs can elucidate potential distribution patterns relative to large-scale climatic and oceanographic conditions, knowledge of local habitat availability and preferences is necessary to understand and successfully predict region-specific realized distribution patterns.
Free Article
PMID: 25748948 [PubMed - in process]

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13. C R Biol. 2015 Mar 3. pii: S1631-0691(15)00051-7. doi: 10.1016/j.crvi.2015.02.002. [Epub ahead of print]

Reciprocal protection from natural enemies in an ant-wasp association.

Le Guen R1, Corbara B2, Rossi V3, Azémar F4, Dejean A5.
Author information:
Panacoco SARL, 31, rue Mauran, 82500 Beaumont-de-Lomagne, France.
CNRS, laboratoire « microorganismes, génome et environnement », (UMR CNRS 6023), université Blaise-Pascal, complexe scientifique des Cézeaux, 63177 Aubière cedex, France; Université Clermont Auvergne, université Blaise-Pascal, LMGE, BP 10448, 63000 Clermont-Ferrand, France.
CIRAD, biens et services des écosystèmes forestiers tropicaux (CIRAD-UR 105), BP 2572, Yaoundé, Cameroon.
Université de Toulouse, UPS, INP, laboratoire « écologie fonctionnelle et environnement » (Ecolab), 118, route de Narbonne, 31062 Toulouse, France; CNRS, Ecolab (UMR-CNRS 5245), 31062 Toulouse, France.
Université de Toulouse, UPS, INP, laboratoire « écologie fonctionnelle et environnement » (Ecolab), 118, route de Narbonne, 31062 Toulouse, France; CNRS, Ecolab (UMR-CNRS 5245), 31062 Toulouse, France; CNRS, écologie des forêts de Guyane (UMR-CNRS 8172), campus agronomique, BP 316, 97379 Kourou cedex, France. Electronic address:


We show that in French Guiana the large carton nests of Azteca chartifex, a territorially-dominant arboreal dolichoderine ant, are protected from bird attacks when this ant lives in association with Polybia rejecta, an epiponine social wasp. Because A. chartifex colonies are well known for their ability to divert army ant raids from the base of their host tree so that they protect their associated wasps from these raids, there is a reciprocal benefit for these two partners, permitting us to call this association a mutualism. We also show that P. rejecta nests are significantly less often attacked by birds than are those of two compared epiponine social wasp species. Furthermore, experimentation using a standardized protocol demonstrated the significantly higher aggressiveness of P. rejecta compared to seven other wasp species. We conclude that the efficacious protection of its associated ant nests is likely due to the extreme aggressiveness of P. rejecta.
Copyright © 2015 Académie des sciences. Published by Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.
PMID: 25746397 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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14. J Zoo Wildl Med. 2014 Dec;45(4):961-5.

Air sac adenocarcinoma of the sternum in a Quaker parrot (Myiopsitta monachus).

Loukopoulos P, Okuni JB, Micco T, Garcia JP, Uzal FA, Diab SS.


Respiratory neoplasia is rarely reported in avian species. A 17-yr-old Quaker parrot (Myiopsitta monachus) was admitted with a 2-wk history of anorexia, depression, and respiratory distress. Clinical examination revealed a large, firm mass in the left pectoral muscle. Radiology showed a mass silhouetting the heart and the liver. Supportive treatment was provided, but the bird died during the seventh weekly visit to drain thoracic cavity fluid. Necropsy showed a white, 3 x 3 x 2-cm, hard, gritty sternal mass. Histology showed a nonencapsulated, moderately differentiated air sac carcinoma of the sternum. Immunohistochemically the neoplasm was cytokeratin positive and vimentin and calretinin negative. This is the first report of an air sac neoplasia in a Quaker parrot and one of few respiratory tumors in psittacines.
PMID: 25632693 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

15. J Zoo Wildl Med. 2014 Dec;45(4):958-60.

Absolute polycythemia in a bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus).

Fernandes AF, Fenton H, Martinson S, Desmarchelier M, Ferrell ST .


An approximately 6-mo-old female bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) was presented for an inability to fly and bilateral drooped wings. Pectoral muscle atrophy with a moderate polycythemia was present. Over the course of 3 wk, there were no improvements in flight capacity, although the bird gained substantial weight. Further investigation revealed a prominent cyanosis that was responsive to oxygen therapy, a chronic respiratory acidosis with hypoxia, a cardiac murmur, and a persistent polycythemia. No obvious antemortem etiology for the clinical findings was discovered on computerized tomography, angiography, or echocardiography. The bird was euthanatized as a result of the poor prognosis. Necropsy and histopathology revealed no significant cardiovascular or pulmonary pathology. No myopathy was evident on electron microscopy of formalin-fixed tissues. Based on these diagnostics, a neuromuscular disorder is suspected as the cause for the blood gas abnormalities, with a resulting polycythemia from the hypoxia.
PMID: 25632692 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

16. Avian Dis. 2014 Sep;58(3):377-82.

Evaluation of capillary and myofiber density in the pectoralis major muscles of rapidly growing, high-yield broiler chickens during increased heat stress.

Joiner KS, Hamlin GA, Lien AR, Bilgili SF.


Skeletal muscle development proceeds from early embryogenesis through marketing age in broiler chickens. While myofiber formation is essentially complete at hatching, myofiber hypertrophy can increase after hatch by assimilation of satellite cell nuclei into myofibers. As the diameter of the myofibers increases, capillary density peripheral to the myofiber is marginalized, limiting oxygen supply and subsequent diffusion into the myofiber, inducing microischemia. The superficial and deep pectoralis muscles constitute 25% of the total body weight in a market-age bird; thus compromise of those muscle groups can have profound economic impact on broiler production. We hypothesized that marginal capillary support relative to the hypertrophic myofibers increases the incidence of microischemia, especially in contemporary high-yield broilers under stressing conditions such as high environmental temperatures. We evaluated the following parameters in four different broiler strains at 39 and 53 days of age when reared under thermoneutral (20 to 25 C) versus hot (30 to 35 C) environmental conditions: capillary density, myofiber density and diameter, and degree of myodegeneration. Our data demonstrate that myofiber diameter significantly increased with age (P > or = 0.0001), while the absolute numbers of capillaries, blood vessels, and myofibers visible in five 400 x microscopic fields decreased (P > or = 0.0001). This is concomitant with marginalization of vascular support in rapidly growing myofibers. The myofiber diameter was significantly lower with hot environmental temperatures (P > or = 0.001); therefore, the absolute number of myofibers visible in five 400X microscopic fields was significantly higher. The incidence and subjective degree of myodegeneration characterized by loss of cross-striations, myocyte hyperrefractility, sarcoplasmic vacuolation, and nuclear pyknosis or loss also increased in hot conditions. Differences among strains were not observed.
PMID: 25518431 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

17. Mol Ecol. 2015 Jan;24(2):362-73. doi: 10.1111/mec.13039. Epub 2015 Jan 12.

MHC variation reflects the bottleneck histories of New Zealand passerines.

Sutton JT1, Robertson BC, Jamieson IG.
Author information:
Department of Zoology, Allan Wilson Centre for Molecular Ecology and Evolution, University of Otago, 340 Great King Street, PO Box 56, Dunedin, 9054, New Zealand; Department of Biology, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, Edmondson Hall, 2538 McCarthy Mall, Honolulu, HI, 96822-2233, USA.


Most empirical evidence suggests that balancing selection does not counter the effects of genetic drift in shaping postbottleneck major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genetic diversity when population declines are severe or prolonged. However, few studies have been able to include data from historical specimens, or to compare populations/species with different bottleneck histories. In this study, we examined MHC class II B and microsatellite diversity in four New Zealand passerine (songbird) species that experienced moderate to very severe declines. We compared diversity from historical samples (collected c. 1884-1938) to present-day populations. Using a Bayesian framework, we found that the change in genetic diversity from historical to contemporary samples was affected by three main factors: (i) whether the data were based on MHC or microsatellite markers, (ii) species (as a surrogate for bottleneck severity) and (iii) whether the comparison between historical and contemporary samples was made using historical samples originating from the mainland, or using historical samples originating from islands. The greatest losses in genetic diversity occurred for the most severely bottlenecked species, particularly between historical mainland and contemporary samples. Additionally, where loss of diversity occurred, the change was greater for MHC genes compared to microsatellite loci.
© 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
PMID: 25488544 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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18. Arch Virol. 2015 Jan;160(1):345-51. doi: 10.1007/s00705-014-2228-7. Epub 2014 Sep 7.

Identification and complete genome analysis of kobuvirus in faecal samples of European roller (Coracias garrulus): for the first time in a bird.

Pankovics P1, Boros Á, Kiss T, Reuter G.
Author information:
Regional Laboratory of Virology, National Reference Laboratory of Gastroenteric Viruses, ÁNTSZ Regional Institute of State Public Health Service, Szabadság út 7, 7623, Pécs, Hungary.


The genus Kobuvirus (Picornaviridae) consists of three species, Aichivirus A (e.g., Aichi virus, which infects humans), Aichivirus B and Aichivirus C. Kobuvirus have not been detected in non-mammal species including birds. In this study, a novel kobuvirus was identified in 3 (17 %) out of 18 faecal samples collected from European rollers (Coracias garrulus) in Hungary. The complete genome sequence of strain SZAL6-KoV/2011/HUN (KJ934637), which was determined using a novel 5'/3' RACE method (dsRNA-RACE) involving a double-stranded (ds)RNA intermediate, has a type-V IRES at the 5' end and a cis-acting element (CRE) in the 3C gene and encodes L and 2A(H-box/NC) proteins, but it does not contain the sequence forming a "barbell-like" secondary RNA structure in the 3'UTR. SZAL6-KoV/2011/HUN has 72 %, 73 %, and 81 % amino acid sequence identity to the P1, P2, and P3 protein, respectively, of Aichi virus. Evolutionary analysis showed that SZAL6-KoV/2011/HUN shares a common ancestor with other kobuviruses but belongs to a more ancient lineage in the species Aichivirus A. Investigation of the known kobuviruses in different animals and discovery of novel kobuviruses in potential host species helps to clarify the evolutionary connection and zoonotic potential of kobuviruses.
PMID: 25195063 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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19. Parasit Vectors. 2014 Jul 10;7:318. doi: 10.1186/1756-3305-7-318.

Spotted fever Rickettsia species in Hyalomma and Ixodes ticks infesting migratory birds in the European Mediterranean area.

Wallménius K, Barboutis C, Fransson T, Jaenson TG, Lindgren PE, Nyström F, Olsen B, Salaneck E, Nilsson K1.
Author information:
Department of Medical Sciences, Section of Clinical Microbiology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.



A few billion birds migrate annually between their breeding grounds in Europe and their wintering grounds in Africa. Many bird species are tick-infested, and as a result of their innate migratory behavior, they contribute significantly to the geographic distribution of pathogens, including spotted fever rickettsiae. The aim of the present study was to characterize, in samples from two consecutive years, the potential role of migrant birds captured in Europe as disseminators of Rickettsia-infected ticks.


Ticks were collected from a total of 14,789 birds during their seasonal migration northwards in spring 2009 and 2010 at bird observatories on two Mediterranean islands: Capri and Antikythira. All ticks were subjected to RNA extraction followed by cDNA synthesis and individually assayed with a real-time PCR targeting the citrate synthase (gltA) gene. For species identification of Rickettsia, multiple genes were sequenced.


Three hundred and ninety-eight (2.7%) of all captured birds were tick-infested; some birds carried more than one tick. A total number of 734 ticks were analysed of which 353 ± 1 (48%) were Rickettsia-positive; 96% were infected with Rickettsia aeschlimannii and 4% with Rickettsia africae or unidentified Rickettsia species. The predominant tick taxon, Hyalomma marginatum sensu lato constituted 90% (n = 658) of the ticks collected. The remaining ticks were Ixodes frontalis, Amblyomma sp., Haemaphysalis sp., Rhipicephalus sp. and unidentified ixodids. Most ticks were nymphs (66%) followed by larvae (27%) and adult female ticks (0.5%). The majority (65%) of ticks was engorged and nearly all ticks contained visible blood.


Migratory birds appear to have a great impact on the dissemination of Rickettsia-infected ticks, some of which may originate from distant locations. The potential ecological, medical and veterinary implications of such Rickettsia infections need further examination.
PMCID: PMC4230250 Free PMC Article
PMID: 25011617 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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20. BMC Genomics. 2014 Jul 8;15:573. doi: 10.1186/1471-2164-15-573.

The complete mitochondrial genomes of sixteen ardeid birds revealing the evolutionary process of the gene rearrangements.

Zhou X, Lin Q, Fang W1, Chen X.
Author information:
Key Laboratory of Ministry of Education for Coast and Wetland Ecosystems, College of the Environment and Ecology, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361102, People's Republic of China.



The animal mitochondrial genome is generally considered to be under selection for both compactness and gene order conservation. As more mitochondrial genomes are sequenced, mitochondrial duplications and gene rearrangements have been frequently identified among diverse animal groups. Although several mechanisms of gene rearrangement have been proposed thus far, more observational evidence from major taxa is needed to validate specific mechanisms. In the current study, the complete mitochondrial DNA of sixteen bird species from the family Ardeidae was sequenced and the evolution of mitochondrial gene rearrangements was investigated. The mitochondrial genomes were then used to review the phylogenies of these ardeid birds.


The complete mitochondrial genome sequences of the sixteen ardeid birds exhibited four distinct mitochondrial gene orders in which two of them, named as "duplicate tRNA(Glu)-CR" and "duplicate tRNAThr-tRNA(Pro) and CR", were newly discovered. These gene rearrangements arose from an evolutionary process consistent with the tandem duplication--random loss model (TDRL). Additionally, duplications in these gene orders were near identical in nucleotide sequences within each individual, suggesting that they evolved in concert. Phylogenetic analyses of the sixteen ardeid species supported the idea that Ardea ibis, Ardea modesta and Ardea intermedia should be classified as genus Ardea, and Ixobrychus flavicollis as genus Ixobrychus, and indicated that within the subfamily Ardeinae, Nycticorax nycticorax is closely related to genus Egretta and that Ardeola bacchus and Butorides striatus are closely related to the genus Ardea.


The duplicate tRNAThr-CR gene order is found in most ardeid lineages, suggesting this gene order is the ancestral pattern within these birds and persisted in most lineages via concerted evolution. In two independent lineages, when the concerted evolution stopped in some subsections due to the accumulation of numerous substitutions and deletions, the duplicate tRNAThr-CR gene order was transformed into three other gene orders. The phylogenetic trees produced from concatenated rRNA and protein coding genes have high support values in most nodes, indicating that the mitochondrial genome sequences are promising markers for resolving the phylogenetic issues of ardeid birds when more taxa are added.
PMCID: PMC4111848 Free PMC Article
PMID: 25001581 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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