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Monday, 19 October 2015

What's new for 'birdRS' in PubMed. October 2015, Week 2

birdRS - Latest News

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. PLoS One. 2015 Oct 16;10(10):e0138439. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0138439. 

No Association between Personality and Candidate Gene Polymorphisms in a Wild Bird Population. 
Edwards HA(1), Hajduk GK(1), Durieux G(1), Burke T(1), Dugdale HL(2). Author information: (1)Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, United Kingdom. (2)Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, United Kingdom; Groningen Institute for Evolutionary Life Sciences, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands; Nature Seychelles, Mahe, Republic of Seychelles. 

Consistency of between-individual differences in behaviour or personality is a phenomenon in populations that can have ecological consequences and evolutionary potential. One way that behaviour can evolve is to have a genetic basis. Identifying the molecular genetic basis of personality could therefore provide insight into how and why such variation is maintained, particularly in natural populations. Previously identified candidate genes for personality in birds include the dopamine receptor D4 (DRD4), and serotonin transporter (SERT). Studies of wild bird populations have shown that exploratory and bold behaviours are associated with polymorphisms in both DRD4 and SERT. Here we tested for polymorphisms in DRD4 and SERT in the Seychelles warbler (Acrocephalus sechellensis) population on Cousin Island, Seychelles, and then investigated correlations between personality and polymorphisms in these genes. We found no genetic variation in DRD4, but identified four polymorphisms in SERT that clustered into five haplotypes. There was no correlation between bold or exploratory behaviours and SERT polymorphisms/haplotypes. The null result was not due to lack of power, and indicates that there was no association between these behaviours and variation in the candidate genes tested in this population. These null findings provide important data to facilitate representative future meta-analyses on candidate personality genes. PMID: 26473495 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] 

2. Mov Ecol. 2015 Oct 15;3:25. doi: 10.1186/s40462-015-0062-5. eCollection 2015. 

A hidden Markov model for reconstructing animal paths from solar geolocation loggers using templates for light intensity. 
Rakhimberdiev E(1), Winkler DW(2), Bridge E(3), Seavy NE(4), Sheldon D(5), Piersma T(6), Saveliev A(7). Author information: (1)Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Laboratory of Ornithology, Cornell University, Ithaca, 14853 USA ; Department of Marine Ecology, NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, PO Box 59, 1790 AB Den Burg, The Netherlands ; Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Biological Faculty, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, 119991 Russia. (2)Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Laboratory of Ornithology, Cornell University, Ithaca, 14853 USA. (3)Oklahoma Biological Survey, University of Oklahoma, 111 E Chesapeake St., Norman, OK 73019 USA. (4)Point Blue Conservation Science, 3820 Cypress Drive, Suite 11, Petaluma, CA 94954 USA. (5)College of Information and Computer Sciences, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003 USA ; Department of Computer Science, Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA 01075 USA. (6)Department of Marine Ecology, NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, PO Box 59, 1790 AB Den Burg, The Netherlands ; Chair in Global Flyway Ecology, Conservation Ecology Group, Groningen Institute for Evolutionary Life Sciences (GELIFES), University of Groningen, PO Box 11103, Groningen, 9700 CC The Netherlands. (7)Department of Ecological Systems Modelling, Institute of Environmental Sciences, Kazan Federal University, 5 Tovarisheskaya, Kazan, 420008 Russia. 

BACKGROUND: Solar archival tags (henceforth called geolocators) are tracking devices deployed on animals to reconstruct their long-distance movements on the basis of locations inferred post hoc with reference to the geographical and seasonal variations in the timing and speeds of sunrise and sunset. The increased use of geolocators has created a need for analytical tools to produce accurate and objective estimates of migration routes that are explicit in their uncertainty about the position estimates. RESULTS: We developed a hidden Markov chain model for the analysis of geolocator data. This model estimates tracks for animals with complex migratory behaviour by combining: (1) a shading-insensitive, template-fit physical model, (2) an uncorrelated random walk movement model that includes migratory and sedentary behavioural states, and (3) spatially explicit behavioural masks. The model is implemented in a specially developed open source R package FLightR. We used the particle filter (PF) algorithm to provide relatively fast model posterior computation. We illustrate our modelling approach with analysis of simulated data for stationary tags and of real tracks of both a tree swallow Tachycineta bicolor migrating along the east and a golden-crowned sparrow Zonotrichia atricapilla migrating along the west coast of North America. CONCLUSIONS: We provide a model that increases accuracy in analyses of noisy data and movements of animals with complicated migration behaviour. It provides posterior distributions for the positions of animals, their behavioural states (e.g., migrating or sedentary), and distance and direction of movement. Our approach allows biologists to estimate locations of animals with complex migratory behaviour based on raw light data. This model advances the current methods for estimating migration tracks from solar geolocation, and will benefit a fast-growing number of tracking studies with this technology. PMID: 26473033 [PubMed] 

3. Parasitol Res. 2015 Oct 16. [Epub ahead of print] 

Hepatozoon ellisgreineri n. sp. (Hepatozoidae): description of the first avian apicomplexan blood parasite inhabiting granulocytes. 
Valkiūnas G(1), Mobley K(2), Iezhova TA(3). Author information: (1)Nature Research Centre, Akademijos 2, Vilnius, LT-08412, Lithuania. (2)Denver Zoological Gardens, 2300 Steele St., Denver, CO, 80205, USA. (3)Nature Research Centre, Akademijos 2, Vilnius, LT-08412, Lithuania. 

Blood parasites of the genus Hepatozoon (Apicomplexa, Hepatozoidae) infect all groups of terrestrial vertebrates, and particularly high prevalence and species diversity have been reported in reptiles and mammals. A few morphologically similar species, in which gamonts inhabit mononuclear leukocytes and red blood cells, have been described in birds. Here, we report a new Hepatozoon species, which was found in wild-caught secretary birds Sagittarius serpentarius, from Tanzania. Hepatozoon ellisgreineri n. sp. can be readily distinguished from all described species of avian Hepatozoon because its gamonts develop only in granulocytes, predominantly in heterophils, a unique characteristic among bird parasites of this genus. Additionally, this is the first reported avian apicomplexan blood parasite, which inhabits and matures in granulocytes. We describe H. ellisgreineri based on morphological characteristics of blood stages and their host cells. This finding broadens knowledge about host cells of avian Hepatozoon spp. and other avian apicomplexan blood parasites, contributing to the better understanding of the diversity of haematozoa. This is the first report of hepatozoonosis in endangered African birds of the Sagittariidae. PMID: 26472715 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] 

4. Proc Biol Sci. 2015 Oct 22;282(1817). pii: 20150920. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2015.0920. 

Carry-over effects of the social environment on future divorce probability in a wild bird population. 
Culina A(1), Hinde CA(2), Sheldon BC(3). Author information: (1)Edward Grey Institute, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PS, UK Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, Recanati-Kaplan Centre, Abingdon Road, Tubney House, Tubney, Oxfordshire OX13 5QL, UK (2)Edward Grey Institute, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PS, UK Behavioural Ecology Group, Department of Animal Sciences, Wageningen University, PO Box 338, 6700 AH Wageningen, The Netherlands. (3)Edward Grey Institute, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PS, UK. 

Initial mate choice and re-mating strategies (infidelity and divorce) influence individual fitness. Both of these should be influenced by the social environment, which determines the number and availability of potential partners. While most studies looking at this relationship take a population-level approach, individual-level responses to variation in the social environment remain largely unstudied. Here, we explore carry-over effects on future mating decisions of the social environment in which the initial mating decision occurred. Using detailed data on the winter social networks of great tits, we tested whether the probability of subsequent divorce, a year later, could be predicted by measures of the social environment at the time of pairing. We found that males that had a lower proportion of female associates, and whose partner ranked lower among these, as well as inexperienced breeders, were more likely to divorce after breeding. We found no evidence that a female's social environment influenced the probability of divorce. Our findings highlight the importance of the social environment that individuals experience during initial pair formation on later pairing outcomes, and demonstrate that such effects can be delayed. Exploring these extended effects of the social environment can yield valuable insights into processes and selective pressures acting upon the mating strategies that individuals adopt. © 2015 The Author(s). PMID: 26468239 [PubMed - in process] 

5. Parasit Vectors. 2015 Oct 15;8(1):538. doi: 10.1186/s13071-015-1154-1. 

Flying ticks: anciently evolved associations that constitute a risk of infectious disease spread. 
de la Fuente J(1,)(2), Estrada-Peña A(3), Cabezas-Cruz A(4), Brey R(5). Author information: (1)SaBio. Instituto de Investigación en Recursos Cinegéticos IREC-CSIC-UCLM-JCCM, Ronda de Toledo s/n, 13005, Ciudad Real, Spain. (2)Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, Center for Veterinary Health Sciences, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK, 74078, USA. (3)Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad de Zaragoza, 50013, Zaragoza, Spain. (4)Center for Infection and Immunity of Lille (CIIL), INSERM U1019 - CNRS UMR 8204, Université Lille Nord de France, Institut Pasteur de Lille, 59019, Lille, France. (5)Ricardo Brey Studio, Galglaan 13, B-9000, Gante, Belgium. 

Ticks are important vectors of emerging zoonotic diseases affecting human and animal health worldwide. Ticks are often found on wild birds, which have been long recognized as a potential risk factor for dissemination of ticks and tick-borne pathogens (TBP), thus raising societal concerns and prompting research into their biology and ecology. To fully understand the role of birds in disseminating some ticks species and TBP, it is important to consider the evolutionary relationships between birds, ticks and transmitted pathogens. In this paper we reviewed the possible role of birds in the dissemination of TBP as a result of the evolution of host-tick-pathogen associations. Birds are central elements in the ecological networks of ticks, hosts and TBP. The study of host-tick-pathogen associations reveals a prominent role for birds in the dissemination of Borrelia spp. and Anaplasma phagocytophilum, with little contribution to the possible dissemination of other TBP. Birds have played a major role during tick evolution, which explains why they are by far the most important hosts supporting the ecological networks of ticks and several TBP. The immune response of birds to ticks and TBP has been largely overlooked. To implement effective measures for the control of tick-borne diseases, it is necessary to study bird-tick and bird-pathogen molecular interactions including the immune response of birds to tick infestation and pathogen infection. PMID: 26467109 [PubMed - in process] 

6. Poult Sci. 2015 Oct 13. pii: pev274. [Epub ahead of print] 

Evaluation of feed grade sodium bisulfate impact on gastrointestinal tract microbiota ecology in broilers via a pyrosequencing platform. 
Park SH(1), Dowd SE(2), McReynolds JL(3), Byrd JA(3), Nisbet DJ(3), Ricke SC(4). Author information: (1)Center for Food Safety, Department of Food Science, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. (2)MR DNA (Molecular Research LP), Shallowater, TX. (3)Food and Feed Safety Research Unit, Southern Plains Agricultural Research Center, USDA, Agricultural Research Service, College Station, TX. (4)Center for Food Safety, Department of Food Science, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville 

The gastrointestinal microbial community in broiler chickens consists of many different species of bacteria, and the overall microbiota can vary from bird to bird. To control pathogenic bacteria in broilers and improve gut health, numerous potential dietary amendments have been used. In this study, we used a pyrosequencing platform to evaluate the effect of sodium bisulfate on microbiota of the crop, cecum, and ileum of broiler chickens grown over several weeks. The diversity information in each digestive organ sample exhibited considerable variation and was clearly separable, suggesting distinct bacterial populations. Although no apparent microbial clustering occurred between the control and the dietary treatments, we did observe shifts in overall microbiota populations in the crop, ileum, and ceca as well as changes in specific microorganisms such as Bacteroides, Clostridium, and Lactobacillus species that were identified as birds became older. © 2015 Poultry Science Association Inc. PMID: 26467017 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] 

7. Poult Sci. 2015 Oct 13. pii: pev265. [Epub ahead of print] 

Quantification of loosely associated and tightly associated bacteria on broiler carcass skin using swabbing, stomaching, and grinding methods. 
Singh P(1), Lee HC(2), Chin KB(3), Ha SD(4), Kang I(5). Author information: (1)Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition. (2)Department of Animal Science, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, 48824, USA. (3)Department of Animal Science, Chonnam National University, 77 Yongbong-ro, Buk-gu, Gwangju, 500-757, Republic of Korea. (4)Department of Food Science and Technology, Chung-Ang University, 72-1 Nae-ri, Daeduk-myun, Ansung, Gyunggido 456-756, Republic of Korea. (5)Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition Department of Animal Science, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, 48824, USA 

This research was conducted to quantify bacterial populations after swabbing or stomaching, followed by grinding the swabbed or stomached broiler skins. For each of 3 replications, 3 eviscerated broilers were randomly taken from a processing line in a local broiler processing plant. Ten swabs and 10 stomachs per bird were conducted on the left- and the right-side skins (10 × 7 cm), respectively, which were then finally ground. Results indicated that mesophilic aerobic bacteria (MAB) in the first swabbed sample were significantly lower than those in the first stomached sample (P < 0.05), with no difference seen for the remaining sampling times (P > 0.05). During 10 swabbings followed by final grinding, 8, 9, and 83% of MAB were detected after the first swabbing, after the second through 10th swabbings, and after final grinding of the skin, respectively. During 10 stomachings followed by the final grinding, 17, 18, and 65% of MAB were detected after the first stomaching, after the second through 10th stomachings, and after final grinding of the skin, respectively. Escherichia coli (E. coli) and coliforms were significantly higher in the first stomaching than those in the first swabbing (P < 0.05), with no difference seen between the 2 sampling methods for the rest sampling times (P > 0.05). Populations of E. coli and coliforms decreased step-wisely from the highest after grinding to the intermediate after first and second sampling, and to the least after 10th sampling (P < 0.05), regardless of swabbing or grinding. In this study, less than 35% of MAB seemed loosely associated in the skin of eviscerated broiler, whereas more than 65% of MAB looked tightly associated, which were not recovered by stomaching or swabbing even 10 times but were recovered by grinding the skin. © 2015 Poultry Science Association Inc. PMID: 26467007 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] 

8. BMC Genomics. 2015 Oct 14;16(1):784. doi: 10.1186/s12864-015-1954-x. 

Genome-wide analysis reveals the extent of EAV-HP integration in domestic chicken. 
Wragg D(1,)(2), Mason AS(3), Yu L(4), Kuo R(5), Lawal RA(6), Desta TT(7), Mwacharo JM(8,)(9), Cho CY(10), Kemp S(11), Burt DW(12), Hanotte O(13). Author information: (1)Ecology and Evolution, School of Life Sciences, University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham, UK. (2)Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA), UMR 1338 GenPhySE, 31326, Castanet-Tolosan, France. (3)The Roslin Institute and Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh, Midlothian, EH25 9RG, Edinburgh, UK. (4)GAIC Co. Ltd. Jing Chen Buiding, Science Park, South Street, Chao Yang District, Beijing, People's Republic Popular of China. (5)The Roslin Institute and Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh, Midlothian, EH25 9RG, Edinburgh, UK. (6)Ecology and Evolution, School of Life Sciences, University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham, UK. (7)Ecology and Evolution, School of Life Sciences, University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham, UK. (8)Ecology and Evolution, School of Life Sciences, University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham, UK. (9)International Centre for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas, c/o International Livestock Research Institute, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. (10)Animal Genetic Resources Station, National Institute of Animal Science, Namwon, Republic of Korea. (11)International Livestock Research Institute, Naivasha Road, P.O. Box 30709, Nairobi, Kenya. (12)The Roslin Institute and Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh, Midlothian, EH25 9RG, Edinburgh, UK. (13)Ecology and Evolution, School of Life Sciences, University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham, UK. 

BACKGROUND: EAV-HP is an ancient retrovirus pre-dating Gallus speciation, which continues to circulate in modern chicken populations, and led to the emergence of avian leukosis virus subgroup J causing significant economic losses to the poultry industry. We mapped EAV-HP integration sites in Ethiopian village chickens, a Silkie, Taiwan Country chicken, red junglefowl Gallus gallus and several inbred experimental lines using whole-genome sequence data. RESULTS: An average of 75.22 ± 9.52 integration sites per bird were identified, which collectively group into 279 intervals of which 5 % are common to 90 % of the genomes analysed and are suggestive of pre-domestication integration events. More than a third of intervals are specific to individual genomes, supporting active circulation of EAV-HP in modern chickens. Interval density is correlated with chromosome length (P < 2.31(-6)), and 27 % of intervals are located within 5 kb of a transcript. Functional annotation clustering of genes reveals enrichment for immune-related functions (P < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Our results illustrate a non-random distribution of EAV-HP in the genome, emphasising the importance it may have played in the adaptation of the species, and provide a platform from which to extend investigations on the co-evolutionary significance of endogenous retroviral genera with their hosts. PMID: 26466991 [PubMed - in process] 

9. Mitochondrial DNA. 2015 Oct 14:1-4. [Epub ahead of print] 

DNA barcoding of Iberian Peninsula and North Africa Tawny Owls Strix aluco suggests the Strait of Gibraltar as an important barrier for phylogeography. 
Doña J(1), Ruiz-Ruano FJ(2), Jovani R(1). Author information: (1)a Department of Evolutionary Ecology , Estación Biológica de Doñana (CSIC) , Avda. Americo Vespucio S/N , Sevilla , Spain and. (2)b Departamento de Genética , Universidad de Granada , Granada , Spain. 

Eight subspecies have been proposed within the Tawny Owl (Strix aluco) species. However, recent molecular data have challenged this view, encouraging further work in this species complex. Here we reevaluated the taxonomic status between the North-Western African Tawny Owl, S. a. mauritanica, and its closest Iberian Tawny Owl population (from the S. a. sylvatica to S. a. aluco clade) separated by the Strait of Gibraltar. The Tawny Owl is a non-migratory and territorial species, and juvenile dispersal is restricted to a few kilometers around the natal site. This limited dispersal and the barrier imposed by the Strait of Gibraltar predicted a strong differentiation between the two populations. We tested this using DNA barcoding, Bayesian phylogenetic and species delimitation analysis. We found that an 81.1% of variation is due to the intergroups variation. In addition, the inter-intraspecific distances distribution revealed a barcoding gap among the two subspecies. Also, posterior probabilities and the PAB value allowed to reject the hypothesis that observed degree of distinctiveness is due to random coalescence processes. These findings clearly support the Strait of Gibraltar as an isolating barrier for this species. The subspecific status is confirmed and species status is even suggested for S. a. mauritanica. PMID: 26465068 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] 

10. Mol Ecol. 2015 Oct 13. doi: 10.1111/mec.13420. [Epub ahead of print] 

Fine-scale kin recognition in the absence of social familiarity in the Siberian jay, a monogamous bird species. 
Griesser M(1), Halvarsson P(2), Drobniak SM(1), Vilà C(3). Author information: (1)Anthropological Institute and Museum, University of Zurich, Switzerland. (2)Animal Ecology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Uppsala University, SE-752 36, Uppsala, Sweden. (3)Conservation and Evolutionary Genetics group, Estación Biológica de Doñana (EBD-CSIC), Seville, Spain. 

Kin recognition is a critical element to kin cooperation and in vertebrates it is primarily based on associative learning. Recognition of socially unfamiliar kin occurs rarely, and it is reported only in vertebrate species where promiscuity prevents recognition of first-order relatives. However, it is unknown if recognition of socially unfamiliar kin can evolve in monogamous species. Here, we investigate whether genetic relatedness modulates aggression among group members in Siberian jays (Perisoreus infaustus). This bird species is genetically and socially monogamous and lives in groups that are formed through the retention of offspring beyond independence, and the immigration of socially unfamiliar non-breeders. Observations on feeders showed that genetic relatedness modulated aggression of breeders towards immigrants in a graded manner, in that they chased most intensely the immigrant group members that were genetically the least related. However, cross-fostering experiments showed that breeders were equally tolerant towards their own and cross-fostered young swapped as nestlings. Thus, breeders seem to use different mechanisms to recognise socially unfamiliar individuals and own offspring. Since Siberian jays show a high degree of nepotism during foraging and predator encounters, inclusive fitness benefits may play a role for the evolution of fine-scale kin recognition. More generally, our results suggest that fine-graded kin recognition can evolve independently of social familiarity, highlighting the evolutionary importance of kin recognition for social species. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. PMID: 26460512 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] 

11. Ecotoxicology. 2015 Oct 12. [Epub ahead of print] 

Sex-associated differences in trace metals concentrations in and on the plumage of a common urban bird species. 
Frantz A(1), Federici P(2), Legoupi J(2), Jacquin L(2,)(3), Gasparini J(2). Author information: (1)Sorbonne Universités, UPMC Univ Paris 06, UPEC, Paris 7, CNRS, INRA, IRD, Institut d'Ecologie et des Sciences de l'Environnement de Paris, 7, quai St Bernard, 75005, Paris, France. (2)Sorbonne Universités, UPMC Univ Paris 06, UPEC, Paris 7, CNRS, INRA, IRD, Institut d'Ecologie et des Sciences de l'Environnement de Paris, 7, quai St Bernard, 75005, Paris, France. (3)Univ. Toulouse 3 Paul Sabatier, CNRS, ENFA, UMR 5174 EDB (Laboratoire Evolution and Diversité Biologique), 31062, Toulouse, France. 

Urban areas encompass both favorable and stressful conditions linked with human activities and pollution. Pollutants remain of major ecological importance for synanthropic organisms living in the city. Plumage of urban birds harbour trace metals, which can result from external deposition or from internal accumulation. External and internal plumage concentrations likely differ between specific trace metals, and may further differ between males and females because of potential sex-linked differential urban use, physiology or behaviour. Here, we measured the concentrations in four trace metals (cadmium, copper, lead and zinc) in both unwashed and washed feathers of 49 male and 38 female feral pigeons (Columba livia) from Parisian agglomeration. We found that these concentrations indeed differed between unwashed and washed feathers, between males and females, and for some metals depended on the interaction between these factors. We discuss these results in the light of physiological and behavioural differences between males and females and of spatial repartition of the four trace metals in the city. PMID: 26458927 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] 

12. Comp Biochem Physiol C Toxicol Pharmacol. 2015 Oct 6. pii: S1532-0456(15)00130-1. doi: 10.1016/j.cbpc.2015.09.014. [Epub ahead of print] 

Toxicity and cytochrome P450 1A mRNA induction by 6-formylindolo[3,2-b]carbazole (FICZ) in chicken and Japanese quail embryos. 
Jönsson ME(1), Mattsson A(2), Shaik S(2), Brunström B(2). Author information: (1)Department of Environmental Toxicology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden. Electronic address: (2)Department of Environmental Toxicology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden. 

The tryptophan derivative formylindolo[3,2-b]carbazole (FICZ) binds with high ligand affinity to the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) and is readily degraded by AHR-regulated cytochrome P450 family 1 (CYP1) enzymes. Whether in vivo exposure to FICZ can result in toxic effects has not been examined and the main objective of this study was to determine if FICZ is embryotoxic in birds. We examined toxicity and CYP1 mRNA induction of FICZ in embryos from chicken (Gallus domesticus) and Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) exposed to FICZ (2-200 μg kg(-1)) by yolk and air sac injections. FICZ caused liver toxicity, embryo mortality, and CYP1A4 and CYP1A5 induction in both species with similar potency. This is in stark contrast to the very large difference in sensitivity of these species to halogenated AHR agonists. We also exposed chicken embryos to a low dose of FICZ (4 μg kg(-1)) in combination with a CYP inhibitor, ketoconazole (KCZ). The mixture of FICZ and KCZ was lethal while FICZ alone had no effect at 4 μg kg(-1). Furthermore, mixed exposure to FICZ and KCZ caused stronger and more long-lasting hepatic CYP1A4 induction than exposure to each compound alone. These findings indicate reduced biotransformation of FICZ by co-treatment with KCZ as a cause for the enhanced effects although additive AHR activation is also possible. To conclude, FICZ is toxic to bird embryos and it seems reasonable that the toxicity by FICZ involves AHR activation. However, the molecular targets and biological events leading to hepatic damage and mortality are unknown. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc. PMID: 26456929 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] 

13. Parasit Vectors. 2015 Oct 9;8(1):516. doi: 10.1186/s13071-015-1145-2. 

Insights into the recent emergence and expansion of eastern equine encephalitis virus in a new focus in the Northern New England USA. 
Molaei G(1), Armstrong PM(2), Graham AC(3), Kramer LD(4), Andreadis TG(5). Author information: (1)Center for Vector Biology & Zoonotic Diseases, The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, 123 Huntington Street, New Haven, CT, 06511, USA. (2)Center for Vector Biology & Zoonotic Diseases, The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, 123 Huntington Street, New Haven, CT, 06511, USA. (3)Vermont Agency of Agriculture, 322 Industrial Lane, Barre, VT, 05641, USA. (4)Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health, 5668 State Farm Rd, Slingerlands, NY, 12159, USA. (5)Center for Vector Biology & Zoonotic Diseases, The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, 123 Huntington Street, New Haven, CT, 06511, USA. 

BACKGROUND: Eastern equine encephalomyelitis virus (EEEV) causes a highly pathogenic zoonosis that circulates in an enzootic cycle involving the ornithophagic mosquito, Culiseta melanura, and wild passerine birds in freshwater hardwood swamps in the northeastern U.S. Epidemic/epizootic transmission to humans/equines typically occurs towards the end of the transmission season and is generally assumed to be mediated by locally abundant and contiguous mammalophagic "bridge vector" mosquitoes. METHODS: Engorged mosquitoes were collected using CDC light, resting box, and gravid traps during epidemic transmission of EEEV in 2012 in Addison and Rutland counties, Vermont. Mosquitoes were identified to species and blood meal analysis performed by sequencing mitochondrial cytochrome b gene polymerase chain reaction products. Infection status with EEEV in mosquitoes was determined using cell culture and RT-PCR assays, and all viral isolates were sequenced and compared to other EEEV strains by phylogenetic analysis. RESULTS: The host choices of 574 engorged mosquitoes were as follows: Cs. melanura (n = 331, 94.3 % avian-derived, 5.7 % mammalian-derived); Anopheles quadrimaculatus (n = 164, 3.0 % avian, 97.0 % mammalian); An. punctipennis (n = 56, 7.2 % avian, 92.8 % mammalian), Aedes vexans (n = 9, 22.2 % avian, 77.8 % mammalian); Culex pipiens s.l. n = 6, 100 % avian); Coquillettidia perturbans (n = 4, 25.0 % avian, 75.0 % mammalian); and Cs. morsitans (n = 4, 100 % avian). A seasonal shift in blood feeding by Cs. melanura from Green Heron towards other avian species was observed. EEEV was successfully isolated from blood-fed Cs. melanura and analyzed by phylogenetic analysis. Vermont strains from 2012 clustered with viral strains previously isolated in Virginia yet were genetically distinct from an earlier EEEV isolate from Vermont during 2011. CONCLUSIONS: Culiseta melanura acquired blood meals primarily from birds and focused feeding activity on several competent species capable of supporting EEEV transmission. Culiseta melanura also occasionally obtained blood meals from mammalian hosts including humans. This mosquito species serves as the primary vector of EEEV among wild bird species, but also is capable of occasionally contributing to epidemic/epizootic transmission of EEEV to humans/equines. Other mosquito species including Cq. perturbans that feed more opportunistically on both avian and mammalian hosts may be important in epidemic/epizootic transmission under certain conditions. Phylogenetic analyses suggest that EEEV was independently introduced into Vermont on at least two separate occasions. PMCID: PMC4600208 PMID: 26453283 [PubMed - in process] 

14. Ecology. 2015 Aug;96(8):2203-13. 

A stochastic movement simulator improves estimates of landscape connectivity. 
Coulon A, Aben J, Palmer SC, Stevens VM, Callens T, Strubbe D, Lens L, Matthysen E, Baguette M, Travis JM. 

Conservation actions often focus on restoration or creation of natural areas designed to facilitate the movements of organisms among populations. To be efficient, these actions need to be based on reliable estimates or predictions of landscape connectivity. While circuit theory and least-cost paths (LCPs) are increasingly being used to estimate connectivity, these methods also have proven limitations. We compared their performance in predicting genetic connectivity with that of an alternative approach based on a simple, individual-based "stochastic movement simulator" (SMS). SMS predicts dispersal of organisms using the same landscape representation as LCPs and circuit theory-based estimates (i.e., a cost surface), while relaxing key LCP assumptions, namely individual omniscience of the landscape (by incorporating perceptual range) and the optimality of individual movements (by including stochasticity in simulated movements). The performance of the three estimators was assessed by the degree to which they correlated with genetic estimates of connectivity in two species with contrasting movement abilities (Cabanis's Greenbul, an Afrotropical forest bird species, and natterjack toad, an amphibian restricted to European sandy and heathland areas). For both species, the correlation between dispersal model and genetic data was substantially higher when SMS was used. Importantly, the results also demonstrate that the improvement gained by using SMS is robust both to variation in spatial resolution of the landscape and to uncertainty in the perceptual range model parameter. Integration of this individual-based approach with other developing methods in the field of connectivity research, such as graph theory, can yield rapid progress towards more robust connectivity indices and more effective recommendations for land management. PMID: 26405745 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] 

15. Ecology. 2015 Aug;96(8):2127-36. 

Predicting extinction debt from community patterns. 
Kitzes J, Harte J. 

A significant challenge in both measuring and predicting species extinction rates at global and local scales is the possibility of extinction debt, time-delayed extinctions that occur gradually following an initial impact. Here we examine how relative abundance distributions and spatial aggregation combine to influence the likely magnitude of future extinction debt following habitat loss or climate-driven range contraction. Our analysis is based on several fundamental premises regarding abundance distributions, most importantly that species abundances immediately following habitat loss are a sample from an initial relative abundance distribution and that the long-term, steady-state form of the species abundance distribution is a property of the biology of a community and not of area. Under these two hypotheses, the results show that communities following canonical lognormal and broken-stick abundance distributions are prone to exhibit extinction debt, especially when species exhibit low spatial aggregation. Conversely, communities following a logseries distribution with a constant Fisher's α parameter never demonstrate extinction debt and often show an "immigration credit," in which species richness rises in the long term following an initial decrease. An illustration of these findings in 25 biodiversity hotspots suggests a negligible immediate extinction rate for bird communities and eventual extinction debts of 30-50% of initial species richness, whereas plant communities are predicted to immediately lose 5-15% of species without subsequent extinction debt. These results shed light on the basic determinants of extinction debt and provide initial indications of the magnitude of likely debts in landscapes where few empirical data are available. PMID: 26405738 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] 

16. Eur J Neurosci. 2015 May;41(9):1180-94. doi: 10.1111/ejn.12885. Epub 2015 Apr 7. 

Catecholaminergic contributions to vocal communication signals. Matheson LE(1), Sakata JT. Author information: (1)Department of Biology, McGill University, Montreal, QC, H3A 1B1, Canada. 

Social context affects behavioral displays across a variety of species. For example, social context acutely influences the acoustic and temporal structure of vocal communication signals such as speech and birdsong. Despite the prevalence and importance of such social influences, little is known about the neural mechanisms underlying the social modulation of communication. Catecholamines are implicated in the regulation of social behavior and motor control, but the degree to which catecholamines influence vocal communication signals remains largely unknown. Using a songbird, the Bengalese finch, we examined the extent to which the social context in which song is produced affected immediate early gene expression (EGR-1) in catecholamine-synthesising neurons in the midbrain. Further, we assessed the degree to which administration of amphetamine, which increases catecholamine concentrations in the brain, mimicked the effect of social context on vocal signals. We found that significantly more catecholaminergic neurons in the ventral tegmental area and substantia nigra (but not the central grey, locus coeruleus or subcoeruleus) expressed EGR-1 in birds that were exposed to females and produced courtship song than in birds that produced non-courtship song in isolation. Furthermore, we found that amphetamine administration mimicked the effects of social context and caused many aspects of non-courtship song to resemble courtship song. Specifically, amphetamine increased the stereotypy of syllable structure and sequencing, the repetition of vocal elements and the degree of sequence completions. Taken together, these data highlight the conserved role of catecholamines in vocal communication across species, including songbirds and humans. © 2015 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd. PMID: 25847067 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] 

17. J Gen Virol. 2015 Jul;96(Pt 7):1777-86. doi: 10.1099/vir.0.000110. Epub 2015 Mar 4. 

Isolation and genomic characterization of a novel orthoreovirus from a brown-eared bulbul (Hypsipetes amaurotis) in Japan. 
Ogasawara Y(1), Ueda H(2), Kikuchi N(1), Kirisawa R(1). Author information: (1)1Department of Pathobiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, Rakuno Gakuen University, Ebetsu, Hokkaido, Japan. (2)2Department of Biosciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Rakuno Gakuen University, Ebetsu, Hokkaido, Japan. 

Five species, Mammalian orthoreovirus, Avian orthoreovirus (ARV), Nelson Bay orthoreovirus (NBV), Baboon orthoreovirus and Reptilian orthoreovirus, have been identified in the genus Orthoreovirus. Their genomes each consist of 10 dsRNA segments. A novel orthoreovirus was isolated from the haemorrhagic intestine of a dead brown-eared bulbul (Hypsipetes amaurotis) in Japan. The virus formed syncytia in Caco-2 and Vero cells. Electron microscopy revealed non-enveloped capsids of ~70 nm diameter, which were characteristic of reoviruses. Complete genomic sequences were determined. The S1 segment was tricistronic and encoded three proteins, p10, p17 and σC, as in the two species ARV and NBV. Sequence and phylogenetic analyses showed that the virus was similar to ARV and NBV, but was located on a phylogenetic branch different from that of ARV and NBV. The virus had the closest phylogenetic relationship to two reovirus strains: SSRV from a Steller sea lion in Canada and PsRV Ge01 from a psittaciform bird in Europe. The 10 RNA segments had a 3' pentanucleotide sequence (UCAUC-3') conserved amongst all members of the genus Orthoreovirus, and a unique 5' terminal heptasequence (5'-GCUUUUC) that was the same as those of SSRV and PsRV Ge01. These results suggested that the novel virus might form a new species with the two strains in the genus Orthoreovirus. PMID: 25740958 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] 

18. Biol Lett. 2015 Feb;11(2):20140754. doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2014.0754. 

Approaching birds with drones: first experiments and ethical guidelines. 
Vas E(1), Lescroël A(2), Duriez O(2), Boguszewski G(3), Grémillet D(4). Author information: (1)CEFE UMR 5175, CNRS - Université de Montpellier - Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier - EPHE, 1919 route de Mende, 34293 Cedex 05, Montpellier, France Cyleone, Cap Omega, Rond-point Benjamin Franklin, CS 39521 34960 Montpellier Cedex 2, France Labex NUMEV, 161 rue Ada, Campus Saint Priest UM2, 34095 Montpellier Cedex 05, France. (2)CEFE UMR 5175, CNRS - Université de Montpellier - Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier - EPHE, 1919 route de Mende, 34293 Cedex 05, Montpellier, France. (3)Cyleone, Cap Omega, Rond-point Benjamin Franklin, CS 39521 34960 Montpellier Cedex 2, France Labex NUMEV, 161 rue Ada, Campus Saint Priest UM2, 34095 Montpellier Cedex 05, France. (4)CEFE UMR 5175, CNRS - Université de Montpellier - Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier - EPHE, 1919 route de Mende, 34293 Cedex 05, Montpellier, France OSU OREME UMS 3282 CNRS-UMS 223 IRD-Université Montpellier 2, Place Eugène Bataillon, 34095 Montpellier Cedex 05, France FitzPatrick Institute and DST/NRF Excellence Centre, University of Cape Town, 7701 Rondebosch, South Africa 

Unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly called drones, are being increasingly used in ecological research, in particular to approach sensitive wildlife in inaccessible areas. Impact studies leading to recommendations for best practices are urgently needed. We tested the impact of drone colour, speed and flight angle on the behavioural responses of mallards Anas platyrhynchos in a semi-captive situation, and of wild flamingos (Phoenicopterus roseus) and common greenshanks (Tringa nebularia) in a wetland area. We performed 204 approach flights with a quadricopter drone, and during 80% of those we could approach unaffected birds to within 4 m. Approach speed, drone colour and repeated flights had no measurable impact on bird behaviour, yet they reacted more to drones approaching vertically. We recommend launching drones farther than 100 m from the birds and adjusting approach distance according to species. Our study is a first step towards a sound use of drones for wildlife research. Further studies should assess the impacts of different drones on other taxa, and monitor physiological indicators of stress in animals exposed to drones according to group sizes and reproductive status. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved. PMCID: PMC4360097 [Available on 2016-02-01] PMID: 25652220 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] 

19. J Vet Med Sci. 2014 Dec;76(12):1651-4. doi: 10.1292/jvms.14-0247. Epub 2014 Sep 3. 

Experimental final hosts of Metagonimus hakubaensis (Trematoda: Heterophyidae) and their suitability to the fluke. 
Kudo N(1), Ota C, Saka F, Ikeda Y, Tomihisa Y, Itoi Y, Oyamada T. Author information: (1)Department of Veterinary Parasitology, School of Veterinary Medicine, Kitasato University, Towada, Aomori 034-8628, Japan. 

Seven laboratory mammal and bird species were orally inoculated with 200-1,000 encysted Metagonimus hakubaensis metacercariae that had been isolated from naturally infected lampreys (Lethenteron reissneri) captured in Aomori Prefecture. At 8 and 15 days post-infection, adult flukes were recovered from all of the laboratory animals tested, and therefore, hamster, rat, mouse, dog, cat, chicken and quail were considered as final hosts of M. hakubaensis. Recovery rates of the fluke were higher in dogs and hamsters than in cats, rats, mice, chickens and quails. The flukes recovered from dogs and hamsters showed increased body length and higher fecundity than those recovered from the other hosts. These results indicate that the suitability of dogs and hamsters for M. hakubaensis infection is higher than that of the other laboratory animals. PMCID: PMC4300384 PMID: 25649951 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] 

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