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Monday, 20 April 2015

What's new for 'birdRS' in PubMed April 2015: Week 3

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).
View complete results in PubMed (results may change over time).

PubMed Results

1. Front Behav Neurosci. 2015 Apr 1;9:76. doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2015.00076. eCollection 2015.

Male mice song syntax depends on social contexts and influences female preferences.

Chabout J1, Sarkar A2, Dunson DB2, Jarvis ED1.
Author information:
Department of Neurobiology, Duke University Medical Center Durham, NC, USA ; Howard Hughes Medical Institute Chevy Chase, MD, USA.
Department of Statistical Science, Duke University Durham, NC, USA.


In 2005, Holy and Guo advanced the idea that male mice produce ultrasonic vocalizations (USV) with some features similar to courtship songs of songbirds. Since then, studies showed that male mice emit USV songs in different contexts (sexual and other) and possess a multisyllabic repertoire. Debate still exists for and against plasticity in their vocalizations. But the use of a multisyllabic repertoire can increase potential flexibility and information, in how elements are organized and recombined, namely syntax. In many bird species, modulating song syntax has ethological relevance for sexual behavior and mate preferences. In this study we exposed adult male mice to different social contexts and developed a new approach of analyzing their USVs based on songbird syntax analysis. We found that male mice modify their syntax, including specific sequences, length of sequence, repertoire composition, and spectral features, according to stimulus and social context. Males emit longer and simpler syllables and sequences when singing to females, but more complex syllables and sequences in response to fresh female urine. Playback experiments show that the females prefer the complex songs over the simpler ones. We propose the complex songs are to lure females in, whereas the directed simpler sequences are used for direct courtship. These results suggest that although mice have a much more limited ability of song modification, they could still be used as animal models for understanding some vocal communication features that songbirds are used for.
PMID: 25883559 [PubMed]

2. Poult Sci. 2015 Apr 15. pii: pev112. [Epub ahead of print]

The effect of toe trimming on behavior, mobility, toe length and other indicators of welfare in tom turkeys.

Fournier J1, Schwean-Lardner K1, Knezacek TD1, Gomis S2, Classen HL3.
Author information:
Department of Animal and Poultry Science, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada, S7N 5A8.
Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada, S7N 5B4.
Department of Animal and Poultry Science, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada, S7N 5A8


Society is increasingly concerned about the welfare of animals kept for food production, for this reason, invasive procedures such as toe trimming in turkeys must be studied to assess the corresponding welfare implications and to ensure such procedures are acceptable for continued use. To this end, research was conducted to evaluate the welfare effects of toe trimming on toms raised to 140 d. The study used 306 Hybrid Converter toms, half of which were toe trimmed using a Microwave Claw Processor (MCP) which group are denoted T, and half of which were sham treated but not trimmed, which group are denoted NT. Turkey behavior was observed on d 1, 3, 5, and 133. Toe cross sections were taken every second day for 14 d after treatment and were used to histologically examine the healing process. Toe length, gait score, and bird stance were assessed on d 55, 84, 119, and 139. For the first 5 d after treatment, T birds demonstrated less active behaviors such as feeding, standing, walking and running (P ≤ 0.05), indicative of pain with the effect diminishing with age. At d 133, T turkeys stood more and walked less than NT birds (P ≤ 0.05). Gait score and bird stance were not affected by treatment. Trimmed toes were on average 91.9% of the length of NT toes and toe length was more variable (P ≤ 0.05) as a result of the trimming process. Histological examination indicated T toes had complete epithelium closure over the healthy tissue by d 8 and were fully healed by d 14. Although bird mobility and stance were unaffected by treatment, turkey behavior both early and late in the production cycle were suggestive of pain and balance effects; both indicators of reduced welfare as a result of toe trimming.
© 2015 Poultry Science Association Inc.
PMID: 25881587 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

3. PLoS One. 2015 Apr 16;10(4):e0123947. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0123947.

Lab-on-a-Bird: Biophysical Monitoring of Flying Birds.

Gumus A1, Lee S2, Ahsan SS3, Karlsson K1, Gabrielson R4, Guglielmo CG5, Winkler DW4, Erickson D2.
Author information:
School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, United States of America.
Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, United States of America.
Applied and Engineering Physics, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, United States of America.
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, United States of America.
Department of Biology, Advanced Facility for Avian Research, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada.


The metabolism of birds is finely tuned to their activities and environments, and thus research on avian systems can play an important role in understanding organismal responses to environmental changes. At present, however, the physiological monitoring of bird metabolism is limited by the inability to take real-time measurements of key metabolites during flight. In this study, we present an implantable biosensor system that can be used for continuous monitoring of uric acid levels of birds during various activities including flight. The system consists of a needle-type enzymatic biosensor for the amperometric detection of uric acid in interstitial fluids. A lightweight two-electrode potentiostat system drives the biosensor, reads the corresponding output current and wirelessly transfers the data or records to flash memory. We show how the device can be used to monitor, in real time, the effects of short-term flight and rest cycles on the uric acid levels of pigeons. In addition, we demonstrate that our device has the ability to measure uric acid level increase in homing pigeons while they fly freely. Successful application of the sensor in migratory birds could open up a new way of studying birds in flight which would lead to a better understanding of the ecology and biology of avian movements.
Free Article
PMID: 25880904 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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4. PLoS One. 2015 Apr 16;10(4):e0124820. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0124820.

Response of Black-Capped Chickadees to House Finch Mycoplasma gallisepticum.

Dhondt AA1, Dhondt KV2, Hochachka WM1.
Author information:
Bird Population Studies, Laboratory of Ornithology, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, 14850, United States of America.
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, United States of America.


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 anything, substantially underestimated.
Free Article
PMID: 25880849 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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5. PLoS One. 2015 Apr 16;10(4):e0121716. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0121716.

Shifts in Bacterial Communities of Eggshells and Antimicrobial Activities in Eggs during Incubation in a Ground-Nesting Passerine.

Grizard S1, Versteegh MA2, Ndithia HK3, Salles JF4, Tieleman BI2.
Author information:
Animal Ecology Group, Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Studies, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands; Department of Microbial Ecology, Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Studies, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands.
Animal Ecology Group, Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Studies, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands.
Animal Ecology Group, Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Studies, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands; Department of Zoology, Ornithology section, National Museums of Kenya, Nairobi, Kenya.
Department of Microbial Ecology, Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Studies, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands.


Microbial invasion of egg contents is a cause of embryonic death. To counter infection risks, the embryo is protected physically by the eggshell and chemically by antimicrobial proteins. If microbial pressure drives embryo mortality, then females may have evolved, through natural selection, to adapt their immune investment into eggs. Although frequently hypothesized, this match between immune allocation and microorganisms has not been explored yet. To examine if correlations between microbes on eggs and immunity in eggs exist, we collected eggs from red-capped larks (Calandrella cinerea) and simultaneously examined their bacterial communities and antimicrobial components-pH, lysozyme and ovotransferrin-during natural incubation. Using molecular techniques, we find that bacterial communities are highly dynamic: bacterial abundance increases from the onset to late incubation, Shannon's α-diversity index increases during early incubation stages, and β-diversity analysis shows that communities from 1 day-old clutches are phylogenetically more similar to each other than the older ones. Regarding the antimicrobials, we notice a decrease of pH and lysozyme concentration, while ovotransferrin concentration increases during incubation. Interestingly, we show that two eggs of the same clutch share equivalent immune protection, independent of clutch age. Lastly, our results provide limited evidence of significant correlation between antimicrobial compounds and bacterial communities. Our study examined simultaneously, for the first time in a wild bird, the dynamics of bacterial communities present on eggshells and of albumen-associated antimicrobial components during incubation and investigated their relationship. However, the link between microorganisms and immunity of eggs remains to be elucidated further. Identifying invading microbes and their roles in embryo mortality, as well as understanding the role of the eggshell microbiome, might be key to better understand avian strategies of immune maternal investment.
Free Article
PMID: 25880684 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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6. BMC Vet Res. 2015 Feb 7;11(1):20. doi: 10.1186/s12917-015-0329-5.

Mortality associated with avian reovirus infection in a free-living magpie (Pica pica) in Great Britain.

Lawson B1, Dastjerdi A2, Shah S3,4, Everest D5, Núñez A6, Pocknell A7, Hicks D8, Horton DL9,10, Cunningham AA11, Irvine RM12.
Author information:
Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London, Regent's Park, London, NW1 4RY, UK.
Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), Weybridge, New Haw, Addlestone, Surrey, KT15 3NB, UK.
Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), Weybridge, New Haw, Addlestone, Surrey, KT15 3NB, UK.
School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, University of Nottingham, Sutton Bonington Campus, Leicestershire, LE12 5RD, UK.
Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), Weybridge, New Haw, Addlestone, Surrey, KT15 3NB, UK.
Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), Weybridge, New Haw, Addlestone, Surrey, KT15 3NB, UK.
Finn Pathologists, One Eyed Lane, Weybread, Diss, Norfolk, IP21 5TT, UK.
Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), Weybridge, New Haw, Addlestone, Surrey, KT15 3NB, UK.
Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), Weybridge, New Haw, Addlestone, Surrey, KT15 3NB, UK.
10 School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 7XH, UK.
11 Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London, Regent's Park, London, NW1 4RY, UK.
12 Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), Weybridge, New Haw, Addlestone, Surrey, KT15 3NB, UK.



Avian reoviruses (ARVs) cause a range of disease presentations in domestic, captive and free-living bird species. ARVs have been reported as a cause of significant disease and mortality in free-living corvid species in North America and continental Europe. Until this report, there have been no confirmed cases of ARV-associated disease in British wild birds.


Sporadic individual magpie (Pica pica) mortality was detected at a single site in Buckinghamshire, England, April-September 2013. An adult female magpie was found moribund and subsequently died. Post-mortem examination identified hepatomegaly and splenomegaly as the most severe macroscopic abnormalities. Histopathological examination revealed extensive hepatic and splenic necrosis. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) identified virions of a size (circa 78 nm diameter) and morphology consistent with ARV in both the liver and the small intestinal (SI) contents. Nucleic acid extracted from pooled liver and spleen was positive on both a pan-reovirus nested PCR targeting the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase gene and a PCR using primers specific to the ARV sigma C protein gene. Virus isolated from the liver and the SI contents was characterised by a syncytial-type cytopathic effect, a reovirus-like appearance on TEM and sequence identical to that from PCR of tissues. In situ hybridisation confirmed co-localisation of ARV with lesions in the liver and spleen, implicating ARV as the causative agent. Splenic lymphoid atrophy and necrotic stomatitis associated with Aspergillus fumigatus infection were consistent with generalised immunosuppression and resultant opportunistic infection.


The pathology and comprehensive virus investigations in this case indicate ARV as the primary pathogen in this magpie, with concurrent secondary infection subsequent to immunosuppression, as has been observed with reoviral infections in other bird species. ARV should be considered as a differential diagnosis for magpie, and potentially other corvid, disease and mortality incidents. This is the first demonstration of ARV-associated mortality in a wild bird in Britain. The prevalence and significance of ARV infection in British wild birds, and its implications for poultry and captive bird health, are currently unknown.
Free Article
PMID: 25880683 [PubMed - in process]

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7. Poult Sci. 2015 Apr 15. pii: pev114. [Epub ahead of print]

Poultry enteric inflammation model with dextran sodium sulfate mediated chemical induction and feed restriction in broilers.

Kuttappan VA1, Berghman LR2, Vicuña EA1, Latorre JD1, Menconi A1, Wolchok JD3, Wolfenden AD1, Faulkner OB1, Tellez GI1, Hargis BM1, Bielke LR4.
Author information:
Department of Poultry Science, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701.
Departments of Poultry Science and Veterinary Pathobiology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843.
Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701.
Department of Poultry Science, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701


Gut inflammation is a cardinal event occurring in various gastrointestinal diseases regardless of etiology. A potential mechanism of action for antibiotic growth promoters and probiotics is alleviation or attenuation of such inflammation. In vivo inflammation models and markers to quantify changes in inflammation, such as paracellular leakage and tight junction function, are necessary tools in the search for methods to reduce enteric inflammation. Dextran sodium sulfate (DSS) and feed restriction (FRS), and fluorescein isothiocyanate dextran (FITC-d; 3 to 5 kDa) marker were evaluated for induction and assessment of enteric inflammation in broilers. Three independent experiments were conducted where birds received an inflammation inducer treatment and an oral gavage of FITC-d (2.2 mg/bird) 2.5 h before killing on d 4, followed by measurement of serum FITC-d levels and release of FITC-d from different regions of gastrointestinal tract (GIT) to evaluate tight junction function. Experiment 1 tested control (CON) and DSS; Experiments 2 and 3 evaluated CON, DSS, and FRS. In all experiments DSS, as well as FRS in Experiments 2 and 3, showed higher (P < 0.05) leakage of FITC-d into serum than CON, but FRS was not different from DSS. The amount of FITC-d retained in duodenal and cecal tissue was affected (P < 0.05) by FRS in Experiments 2 and 3, and DSS affected FITC-d retention in duodenum only, suggesting differences in gut passage or absorption/adsorption. In conclusion, DSS oral gavage and FRS could induce leaky gut, with changes in serum FITC-d and migration of FITC-d from GIT.
© 2015 Poultry Science Association Inc.
PMID: 25877409 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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8. J Evol Biol. 2015 Apr 15. doi: 10.1111/jeb.12644. [Epub ahead of print]

Genetic diversity does not explain variation in extra-pair paternity in multiple populations of a songbird.

Liu IA1, Johndrow JE, Abe J, Lüpold S, Yasukawa K, Westneat DF, Nowicki S.
Author information:
Department of Biology, Duke University, 27708, Box 90338, Durham, NC.


Many songbirds are socially monogamous but genetically polyandrous, mating with individuals outside their pair bonds. Extra-pair paternity (EPP) varies within and across species, but reasons for this variation remain unclear. One possible source of variation is population genetic diversity, which has been shown in interspecific meta-analyses to correlate with EPP but which has limited support from intraspecific tests. Using eight populations of the genetically polyandrous red-winged blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus), including an island population, we investigated whether population-level differences in genetic diversity led to differences in EPP. We first measured genetic diversity over ten microsatellite loci and found, as predicted, low genetic diversity in the island population. Additional structure analyses with multilocus genotypes and mtDNA showed the island population to be distinct from the continental populations. However, the island population's EPP rate fell in the middle of the continental populations' distribution, while the continental populations themselves showed significant variation in EPP. This result suggests that genetic diversity by itself is not a predictor of EPP rate. We discuss reasons for the departure from previous results, including hypotheses for EPP that do not solely implicate female-driven behavior. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
PMID: 25876793 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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9. Mol Ecol. 2015 Apr 16. doi: 10.1111/mec.13203. [Epub ahead of print]

Positive and purifying selection in mitochondrial genomes of a bird with mitonuclear discordance.

Morales HE1, Pavlova A, Joseph L, Sunnucks P.
Author information:
School of Biological Sciences Monash University, Clayton Campus, Melbourne, 3800, Victoria, Australia.


Diversifying selection on metabolic pathways can reduce intraspecific gene flow and promote population divergence. An opportunity to explore this arises from mitonuclear discordance observed in an Australian bird Eopsaltria australis. Across >1,500 Km, nuclear differentiation is low and latitudinally structured by isolation-by-distance, whereas two highly divergent, parapatric mitochondrial lineages (>6.6% in ND2) show a discordant longitudinal geographic pattern and experience different climates. Vicariance, incomplete lineage sorting and sex-biased dispersal were shown earlier to be unlikely drivers of the mitonuclear discordance; instead, natural selection on a female-linked trait was the preferred hypothesis. Accordingly, here we tested for signals of positive, divergent selection on mitochondrial genes in E. australis. We used codon models and physicochemical profiles of amino acid replacements to analyse complete mitochondrial genomes of the two mitochondrial lineages in E. australis, its sister species E. griseogularis, and outgroups. We found evidence of positive selection on at least five amino acids, encoded by genes of two oxidative phosphorylation pathway complexes, NADH dehydrogenase (ND4 and ND4L) and Cytochrome bc1 (cyt-b) against a background of widespread purifying selection on all mitochondrial genes. Three of these amino acid replacements were fixed in ND4 of the geographically most widespread E. australis lineage. The other two replacements were fixed in ND4L and cyt-b of the geographically more restricted E. australis lineage. We discuss whether this selection may reflect local environmental adaptation, a by-product of other selective processes, or genetic incompatibilities, and propose how these hypotheses can be tested in future. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
PMID: 25876460 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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10. Chemosphere. 2015 Apr 11;135:14-19. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2015.03.053. [Epub ahead of print]

An integrated model for assessing heavy metal exposure risk to migratory birds in wetland ecosystem: A case study in Dongting Lake Wetland, China.

Liu J1, Liang J2, Yuan X3, Zeng G 1, Yuan Y1, Wu H1, Huang X1, Liu J1, Hua S1, Li F1, Li X1.
Author information:
College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Hunan University, Changsha 410082, PR China; Key Laboratory of Environmental Biology and Pollution Control (Hunan University), Ministry of Education, Changsha 410082, PR China.
College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Hunan University, Changsha 410082, PR China; Key Laboratory of Environmental Biology and Pollution Control (Hunan University), Ministry of Education, Changsha 410082, PR China. Electronic address:
College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Hunan University, Changsha 410082, PR China; Key Laboratory of Environmental Biology and Pollution Control (Hunan University), Ministry of Education, Changsha 410082, PR China. Electronic address:


Heavy metal contamination is present in wetland ecosystem worldwide, and quantitative risk assessment model is significant. In this study, an exposure model was integrated for assessing heavy metal exposure risk to migratory birds in Dongting Lake Wetland (DTW). The concentrations of Cr, Cu, Pb, Cd, Hg and As in water, plant, soil and fish were investigated from 9 migratory bird habitats. The results showed that exposure doses from drinking water pathways were very low. There was a sensitive area that Cd and As exposure doses exceeded the most conservative tolerable daily intake, which is located at the estuary of Xiang River. In general, Dunlin had a greater risk than Eurasian Spoonbill. Hg, Pb and Cr were likely to have adverse effect on carnivorous migrants in DTW, while Cu and Cd were considered to be relatively safe. Almost all heavy metals were at no risk for Lesser White-fronted Goose in DTW.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
PMID: 25876031 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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11. Mol Ecol. 2015 Apr 15. doi: 10.1111/mec.13157. [Epub ahead of print]

Shared genetic diversity across the global invasive range of the monk parakeet suggests a common restricted geographic origin and the possibility of convergent selection.

Edelaar P1, Roques S, Hobson EA, Gonçalves da Silva A, Avery ML, Russello MA, Senar JC, Wright TF, Carrete M, Tella JL.
Author information:
Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemical Engineering, University Pablo de Olavide, Seville, ES-41013, Spain; Department of Conservation Biology, Estación Biológica de Doñana (CSIC), Avda. Américo Vespucio s/n, Sevilla, 41092, Spain.


While genetic diversity is hypothesized to be an important factor explaining invasion success, there is no consensus yet on how variation in source populations or demographic processes affects invasiveness. We used mitochondrial DNA haplotypic and microsatellite genotypic data to investigate levels of genetic variation and reconstruct the history of replicate invasions on three continents in a globally invasive bird, the monk parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus). We evaluated whether genetic diversity at invasive sites could be explained by (i) the native source populations from which they were derived and (ii) demographic bottlenecks during introduction. Genetic data indicated a localized source area for most sampled invasive populations, with limited evidence for admixing of native source populations. This pattern largely coincides with historical data on pet trade exports. However, the invasive populations are genetically more similar than predicted from the export data alone. The extent of bottleneck effects varied among invasive populations. The observed low genetic diversity, evidence of demographic contraction and restricted source area do not support the hypothesis that invasion is favoured by the mixing and recombining of genetic variation from multiple source populations. Instead, they suggest that reduced genetic variation through random processes may not inhibit successful establishment and invasion in this species. However, convergent selection across invasive sites could also explain the observed patterns of reduction and similarity in genetic variation and/or the restricted source area. In general, the alternative explanation of intraspecific variation in invasive potential among genotypes or geographic areas is neglected, but warrants more attention as it could inform comparative studies and management of biological invaders.
© 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
PMID: 25873354 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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12. Conserv Biol. 2015 Apr 14. doi: 10.1111/cobi.12499. [Epub ahead of print]

Improving effectiveness of systematic conservation planning with density data.

Veloz S1, Salas L, Altman B, Alexander J, Jongsomjit D, Elliott N, Ballard G.
Author information:
Point Blue Conservation Science, 3820 Cypress Drive #11 Petaluma, CA, 94954, U.S.A..


Systematic conservation planning aims to design networks of protected areas that meet conservation goals across large landscapes. The optimal design of these conservation networks is most frequently based on the modeled habitat suitability or probability of occurrence of species, despite evidence that model predictions may not be highly correlated with species density. We hypothesized that conservation networks designed using species density distributions more efficiently conserve populations of all species considered than networks designed using probability of occurrence models. To test this hypothesis, we used the Zonation conservation prioritization algorithm to evaluate conservation network designs based on probability of occurrence versus density models for 26 land bird species in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. We assessed the efficacy of each conservation network based on predicted species densities and predicted species diversity. High-density model Zonation rankings protected more individuals per species when networks protected the highest priority 10-40% of the landscape. Compared with density-based models, the occurrence-based models protected more individuals in the lowest 50% priority areas of the landscape. The 2 approaches conserved species diversity in similar ways: predicted diversity was higher in higher priority locations in both conservation networks. We conclude that both density and probability of occurrence models can be useful for setting conservation priorities but that density-based models are best suited for identifying the highest priority areas. Developing methods to aggregate species count data from unrelated monitoring efforts and making these data widely available through ecoinformatics portals such as the Avian Knowledge Network will enable species count data to be more widely incorporated into systematic conservation planning efforts.
© 2015, Society for Conservation Biology.
PMID: 25873240 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

13. Brain Behav Evol. 2015 Apr 2. [Epub ahead of print]

Zebrin II Expression in the Cerebellum of a Paleognathous Bird, the Chilean Tinamou (Nothoprocta perdicaria).

Corfield JR1, Kolominsky J, Marin GJ, Craciun I, Mulvany-Robbins BE, Iwaniuk AN, Wylie DR.
Author information:
Neuroscience and Mental Health Institute, Department of Psychology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alta., Canada.


Zebrin II (ZII) is a glycolytic enzyme expressed in cerebellar Purkinje cells. In both mammals and birds, ZII is expressed heterogeneously, such that there are sagittal stripes of Purkinje cells with a high ZII expression (ZII+) alternating with stripes of Purkinje cells with little or no expression (ZII-). To date, ZII expression studies are limited to neognathous birds: pigeons (Columbiformes), chickens (Galliformes), and hummingbirds (Trochilidae). These previous studies divided the avian cerebellum into 5 transverse regions based on the pattern of ZII expression. In the lingular region (lobule I) all Purkinje cells are ZII+. In the anterior region (lobules II-V) there are 4 pairs of ZII+/- stripes. In the central region (lobules VI-VIII) all Purkinje cells are ZII+. In the posterior region (lobules VIII-IX) there are 5-7 pairs of ZII+/- stripes. Finally, in the nodular region (lobule X) all Purkinje cells are ZII+. As the pattern of ZII stripes is quite similar in these disparate species, it appears that it is highly conserved. However, it has yet to be studied in paleognathous birds, which split from the neognaths over 100 million years ago. To better understand the evolution of cerebellar compartmentation in birds, we examined ZII immunoreactivity in a paleognath, the Chilean tinamou (Nothoprocta perdicaria). In the tinamou, Purkinje cells expressed ZII heterogeneously such that there were sagittal ZII+ and ZII- stripes of Purkinje cells, and this pattern of expression was largely similar to that observed in neognathous birds. For example, all Purkinje cells in the lingular (lobule I) and nodular (lobule X) regions were ZII+, and there were 4 pairs of ZII+/- stripes in the anterior region (lobules II-V). In contrast to neognaths, however, ZII was expressed in lobules VI-VII as a series of sagittal stripes in the tinamou. Also unlike in neognaths, stripes were absent in lobule IXab, and all Purkinje cells expressed ZII in the tinamou. The differences in ZII expression between the tinamou and neognaths could reflect behavior, but the general similarity of the expression patterns across all bird species suggests that ZII stripes evolved early in the avian phylogenetic tree. © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.
PMID: 25871652 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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14. Ticks Tick Borne Dis. 2015 Apr 10. pii: S1877-959X(15)00053-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ttbdis.2015.03.016. [Epub ahead of print]

Bacteria of the genus Rickettsia in ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) collected from birds in Costa Rica.

Ogrzewalska M1, Literák I2, Capek M3, Sychra O 4, Calderón VÁ5, Rodríguez BC6, Prudencio C7, Martins TF8, Labruna MB9.
Author information:
Laboratory of Hantaviruses and Rickettsioses, Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, FIOCRUZ, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Electronic address:
Department of Biology and Wildlife Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Hygiene and Ecology, University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences Brno, Brno, Czech Republic; CEITEC VFU Brno, University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences Brno, Brno, Czech Republic. Electronic address:
Institute of Vertebrate Biology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, v. v. i., Brno, Czech Republic. Electronic address:
Department of Biology and Wildlife Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Hygiene and Ecology, University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences Brno, Brno, Czech Republic. Electronic address:
Servicio Nacional de Salud Animal, Heredia, Costa Rica. Electronic address:
Servicio Nacional de Salud Animal, Heredia, Costa Rica. Electronic address:
Institute Adolfo Lutz, Center of Immunology, Immunoproteomic Lab, São Paulo, Brazil. Electronic address:
Departamento de Medicina Veterinária Preventiva e Saúde Animal, Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil. Electronic address:
Departamento de Medicina Veterinária Preventiva e Saúde Animal, Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil. Electronic address:


The aim of this study was to document the presence of Rickettsia spp. in ticks parasitizing wild birds in Costa Rica. Birds were trapped at seven locations in Costa Rica during 2004, 2009, and 2010; then visually examined for the presence of ticks. Ticks were identified, and part of them was tested individually for the presence of Rickettsia spp. by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using primers targeting fragments of the rickettsial genes gltA and ompA. PCR products were DNA-sequenced and analyzed in BLAST to determine similarities with previously reported rickettsial agents. A total of 1878 birds were examined, from which 163 birds (9%) were infested with 388 ticks of the genera Amblyomma and Ixodes. The following Amblyomma (in decreasing order of abundance) were found in immature stages (larvae and nymphs): Amblyomma longirostre, Amblyomma calcaratum, Amblyomma coelebs, Amblyomma sabanerae, Amblyomma varium, Amblyomma maculatum, and Amblyomma ovale. Ixodes ticks were represented by Ixodes minor and two unclassified species, designated here as Ixodes sp. genotype I, and Ixodes sp. genotype II. Twelve of 24 tested A. longirostre ticks were found to be infected with 'Candidatus Rickettsia amblyommii', and 2 of 4 A. sabanerae were found to be infected with Rickettsia bellii. Eight of 10 larval Ixodes minor were infected with an endosymbiont (a novel Rickettsia sp. agent) genetically related to the Ixodes scapularis endosymbiont. No rickettsial DNA was found in A. calcaratum, A. coelebs, A. maculatum, A. ovale, A. varium, Ixodes sp. I, and Ixodes sp. II. We report the occurrence of I. minor in Costa Rica for the first time and a number of new bird host-tick associations. Moreover, 'Candidatus R. amblyommii' and R. bellii were found in A. longirostre and A. sabanerae, respectively, in Costa Rica for the first time.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.
PMID: 25869035 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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15. Mitochondrial DNA. 2015 Apr 14:1-2. [Epub ahead of print]

The complete mitochondrial genome of the American crow, Corvus brachyrhynchos (Passeriformes, Corvidae).

Li X1, Lu J, Lu J, Hu X, Huang Z .
Author information:
College of Life Science, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences , Beijing , China and.


The American crow, Corvus brachyrhynchos (Passeriformes, Corvidae), is a large passerine bird species closely related to the raven. Herein, we first published the complete mitochondrial genome of American crows. The mitogenome was 16,917 bp long, and composed of 13 protein-coding genes, 22 tRNA genes, two rRNA genes, and one putative control region. Most protein-coding genes started with a traditional ATG codon except for COI, which initiated with an infrequent start codon GTG instead, and terminated with the mitochondria stop codon (TAA/AGG/AGA) or a single T base. The mitogenome structural organization is identical to that of the other corvus species and related genera. The overall GC content is 44.25% which is lower than AT. Using the 12 protein-coding genes of Corvus brachyrhynchos in this study, together with 10 other closely species, we constructed the species phylogenetic tree to verify the accuracy and utility of new determined mitogenome sequences. We expect that using the full mitogenome to address taxonomic issues and study the related evolution events. Moreover, this is the first report of bird mitogenomes after 48 avian species genome project achievements released in December 2014.
PMID: 25868525 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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16. J Avian Med Surg. 2015 Mar;29(1):55-62. doi: 10.1647/2014-017.

Pericardial Mesothelioma in a Yellow-naped Amazon Parrot ( Amazona auropalliata ).

McCleery B, Jones MP, Manasse J, Johns S, Gompf RE, Newman S.


A 37-year-old female yellow-naped Amazon parrot ( Amazona auropalliata ) was presented with a history of lethargy, inappetence, and decreased vocalizations. On examination, the coelom was moderately distended and palpated fluctuant, and the heart was muffled on auscultation. Coelomic ultrasound, coelomocentesis, and radiographs were performed and revealed an enlarged cardiac silhouette and marked coelomic effusion. Pericardial effusion was confirmed by echocardiography. A well-circumscribed, hyperechoic soft tissue density was observed at the level of the right atrium on initial echocardiography; however, a cardiac mass was not identified by computed tomography scan or repeat echocardiograms. Ultrasound-guided pericardiocentesis was performed under anesthesia, and cytology results were consistent with hemorrhage; no neoplastic cells were identified. A repeat echocardiogram 4 days after pericardiocentesis revealed recurrence of the pericardial effusion. Due to the grave prognosis, the owners declined endoscopic pericardiectomy, and the patient died the following day. On postmortem examination, the pericardial surface of the heart was covered in a white to yellow, multinodular mass layer. Histologic analysis revealed a multinodular mass extending from the atria, running along the epicardium distally, and often extending into the myocardium. Neoplastic cells present in the heart mass and pericardium did not stain with a Churukian-Schenk stain, and thyroglobulin immunohistochemistry was negative. Cytokeratin and vimentin stains showed positive expression in the neoplastic cells within the mass. These results are consistent with a diagnosis of mesothelioma. This is the first report of mesothelioma in a psittacine bird.
PMID: 25867668 [PubMed - in process]

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17. J Avian Med Surg. 2015 Mar;29(1):51-4. doi: 10.1647/2013-062.

Long-term Management of Thymic Lymphoma in a Java Sparrow (Lonchura oryzivora).

Yu PH, Chi CH.


A 4-year-old Java sparrow (Lonchura oryzivora) was diagnosed with thymic lymphoma based on the results of histopathologic evaluation and immunohistochemical staining of a Tru-cut biopsy sample. The bird was treated with chlorambucil (2 mg/kg PO) twice per week for the first 18 weeks, and the mass size, activity level, appetite, bowel function, and body weight were monitored weekly. At week 19, the bird became ill and anorexic, and the chlorambucil treatment was discontinued. The neoplasm grew rapidly during weeks 20 and 21, and the chlorambucil treatment was resumed at week 23. At week 28, the bird's overall condition worsened and the chlorambucil treatment was discontinued because no additional reduction in mass size had occurred. At week 29, prednisolone (2.2 mg/kg) was administered orally every 12 h for 31 weeks. At week 61, the patient became acutely ill, exhibiting anorexia and a decreased level of physical activity, and the owner elected to euthanatize the bird. This is the first report of long-term management of thymic lymphoma in a Java sparrow.
PMID: 25867667 [PubMed - in process]

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18. J Avian Med Surg. 2015 Mar;29(1):46-50. doi: 10.1647/2013-066.

Bilateral Renal Tubular Neoplasm in a Channel-billed Toucan (Ramphastos vitellinus).

Mainez M, Cardona T, Such R, Juan-Sallés C, Garner MM.


An adult male channel-billed toucan (Ramphastos vitellinus) was presented with a history of weakness, dyspnea, and severe dilatation of the coelomic cavity, which was caused by accumulation of serohemorrhagic fluid. Radiographs revealed increased radiodensity and thickness of the descending aorta and a pectoral mass, and blood test results revealed anemia, hypocalcemia, hypoproteinemia, and hyperuricemia. On ultrasound examination, a hyperechoic enlarged soft tissue mass was found in the caudodorsal region of the coelom. The bird did not respond to supportive care and died. Postmortem examination revealed severe, bilateral nephromegaly due to multifocal to coalescing renal tubular adenomas (adenomatosis), which was complicated with renal gout and soft tissue mineralization. Relevant concurrent diseases included hepatic hemochromatosis, subcutaneous cestodiasis with cellulitis, and systemic amyloidosis. There are few documented cases of neoplasms in ramphastid birds and to our knowledge, this is the first report of a renal neoplasm in a channel-billed toucan.
PMID: 25867666 [PubMed - in process]

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