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Friday, 26 February 2016

What's new for 'birdRS' in PubMed, February 2016, Week 3

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).

PubMed Results

1. J Neurosci. 2016 Feb 17;36(7):2176-89. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3883-15.2016. 

Dopaminergic Contributions to Vocal Learning. 
Hoffmann LA(1), Saravanan V(1), Wood AN(1), He L(2), Sober SJ(3). Author information: (1)Neuroscience Doctoral Program, Department of Biology, and. (2)Department of Ophthalmology, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia 30322. (3)Department of Biology, and 

Although the brain relies on auditory information to calibrate vocal behavior, the neural substrates of vocal learning remain unclear. Here we demonstrate that lesions of the dopaminergic inputs to a basal ganglia nucleus in a songbird species (Bengalese finches, Lonchura striata var. domestica) greatly reduced the magnitude of vocal learning driven by disruptive auditory feedback in a negative reinforcement task. These lesions produced no measureable effects on the quality of vocal performance or the amount of song produced. Our results suggest that dopaminergic inputs to the basal ganglia selectively mediate reinforcement-driven vocal plasticity. In contrast, dopaminergic lesions produced no measurable effects on the birds' ability to restore song acoustics to baseline following the cessation of reinforcement training, suggesting that different forms of vocal plasticity may use different neural mechanisms.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT: During skill learning, the brain relies on sensory feedback to improve motor performance. However, the neural basis of sensorimotor learning is poorly understood. Here, we investigate the role of the neurotransmitter dopamine in regulating vocal learning in the Bengalese finch, a songbird with an extremely precise singing behavior that can nevertheless be reshaped dramatically by auditory feedback. Our findings show that reduction of dopamine inputs to a region of the songbird basal ganglia greatly impairs vocal learning but has no detectable effect on vocal performance. These results suggest a specific role for dopamine in regulating vocal plasticity. Copyright © 2016 the authors 0270-6474/16/362176-14$15.00/0. PMID: 26888928 [PubMed - in process] 

2. Oecologia. 2016 Feb 18. [Epub ahead of print] 

Differential migration and the link between winter latitude, timing of migration, and breeding in a songbird. 
Woodworth BK(1), Newman AE(2), Turbek SP(3), Dossman BC(4), Hobson KA(5), Wassenaar LI(5,)(6), Mitchell GW(2,)(7), Wheelwright NT(3), Norris DR(2). Author information: (1)Department of Integrative Biology, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, N1G 2W1, Canada. (2)Department of Integrative Biology, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, N1G 2W1, Canada. (3)Department of Biology, Bowdoin College, Brunswick, ME, 04011, USA. (4)School of Environment and Natural Resources, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, 43210, USA. (5)Environment Canada, Saskatoon, SK, S7N 3H5, Canada. (6)International Atomic Energy Agency, 1400, Vienna, Austria. (7)Wildlife Research Division, National Wildlife Research Centre, Environment Canada, Ottawa, ON, K1A 0H3, Canada. 

Patterns of connectivity between breeding and wintering grounds can have important implications for individual fitness and population dynamics. Using light-level geolocators and stable hydrogen isotopes (δ(2)H) in feathers, we evaluated differential migration of Savannah sparrows (Passerculus sandwichensis) breeding on Kent Island in the Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick, Canada in relation to sex, age, and body size. Based on geolocators recovered from 38 individuals between 2012 and 2014, the winter distribution was centered in North Carolina (median latitude 34°, range 26°-41°), with males overwintering, on average, approximately 275 km further north than females. Based on analyses of tail feather samples collected from 106 individuals from the same population between 2008 and 2012, males and adults had more negative δ(2)H values than females and juveniles, respectively, providing additional evidence that males wintered north of females and that adults wintered north of juveniles. Winter latitude and δ(2)H values within each sex were not found to be related to body size. From geolocator data, males returned to the breeding grounds, on average, 14 days earlier than females. For males, there was some evidence that arrival date on the breeding grounds was negatively correlated with winter latitude and that individuals which arrived earlier tended to breed earlier. Thus, benefits for males of early arrival on the breeding grounds may have contributed to their wintering farther north than females. Social dominance may also have contributed to age and sex differences in winter latitude, whereby dominant males and adults forced subordinate females and juveniles further south. PMID: 26888571 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] 

3. Evolution. 2016 Feb 17. doi: 10.1111/evo.12882. [Epub ahead of print] 

Molecular development of fibular reduction in birds and its evolution from dinosaurs. 
Botelho JF(1), Smith-Paredes D(2), Soto-Acuña S(3,)(4), O'Connor J(5), Palma V(6), Vargas A(7). Author information: (1)Laboratorio de Ontogenia y Filogenia, Departamento de Biología, Facultad de Ciencias de la Universidad de Chile. (2)Laboratorio de Ontogenia y Filogenia, Departamento de Biología, Facultad de Ciencias de la Universidad de Chile. (3)Laboratorio de Ontogenia y Filogenia, Departamento de Biología, Facultad de Ciencias de la Universidad de Chile. (4)Área de Paleontología, Museo Nacional de Historia Natural, Santiago, RM, Chile. (5)Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Beijing, China. (6)FONDAP Center for Genomic Regulation, Departamento de Biología, Facultad de Ciencias de la Universidad de Chile. (7)Laboratorio de Ontogenia y Filogenia, Departamento de Biología, Facultad de Ciencias de la Universidad de Chile. 

Birds have a distally reduced, splinter-like fibula that is shorter than the tibia. In embryonic development, both skeletal elements start out with similar lengths. We examined molecular markers of cartilage differentiation in chicken embryos. We found that the distal end of the fibula expresses Indian Hedgehog (IHH), undergoing terminal cartilage differentiation, and almost no Parathyroid-related-protein (PTHrP), which is required to develop a proliferative growth plate (epiphysis). Reduction of the distal fibula may be influenced earlier by its close contact with the nearby fibulare, which strongly expresses PTHrP. The epiphysis-like fibulare however then separates from the fibula, which fails to maintain a distal growth plate, and fibular reduction ensues. Experimental downregulation of IHH signaling at a post-morphogenetic stage led to a tibia and fibula of equal length: The fibula is longer than in controls and fused to the fibulare, while the tibia is shorter and bent. We propose that the presence of a distal fibular epiphysis may constrain greater growth in the tibia. Accordingly, many Mesozoic birds show a fibula that has lost its distal epiphysis, but remains almost as long as the tibia, suggesting that loss of the fibulare preceded and allowed subsequent evolution of great fibulo-tibial disparity. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. PMID: 26888088 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] 

4. Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 2016 Feb;170:1-12. doi: 10.1016/j.vetimm.2015.12.010. Epub 2015 Dec 31. 

Expression analysis of cytosolic DNA-sensing pathway genes in the intestinal mucosal layer of necrotic enteritis-induced chicken. 
Rengaraj D(1), Truong AD(2), Lee SH(3), Lillehoj HS(4), Hong YH(5). Author information: (1)Department of Animal Science and Technology, Chung-Ang University, Anseong, Gyeonggi-do 17546, Republic of Korea. Electronic address: (2)Department of Animal Science and Technology, Chung-Ang University, Anseong, Gyeonggi-do 17546, Republic of Korea. Electronic address: (3)National Academy of Agricultural Science, Rural Development Administration, Wanju-gun, Jeollabuk-do 55365, Republic of Korea. Electronic address: (4)Animal Biosciences and Biotechnology Laboratory, Agricultural Research Services, United States Department of Agriculture, Beltsville, MD 20705, USA. Electronic address: (5)Department of Animal Science and Technology, Chung-Ang University, Anseong, Gyeonggi-do 17546, Republic of Korea. Electronic address: 

Necrotic enteritis (NE) is a serious problem to the poultry farms, which report NE outbreaks more than once per year, as a result of the inappropriate use of antibiotics in the feed. The NE affected bird die rapidly as a result of various pathophysiological complications in the intestine and immune system. Also, several studies have reported that the genes exclusively related to intestine and immune functions are significantly altered in response to NE. In this study, NE was induced in two genetically disparate chicken lines that are resistant (line 6.3) and sensitive (line 7.2) to avian leukosis and Marek's disease. The intestinal mucosal layer was collected from NE-induced and control chickens, and subjected to RNA-sequencing analysis. The involvement of differentially expressed genes in the intestinal mucosal layer of line 6.3 and 7.2 with the immune system-related pathways was investigated. Among the identified immune system-related pathways, a candidate pathway known as chicken cytosolic DNA-sensing pathway (CDS pathway) was selected for further investigation. RNA-sequencing and pathway analysis identified a total of 21 genes that were involved in CDS pathway and differentially expressed in the intestinal mucosal layer of lines 6.3 and 7.2. The expression of CDS pathway genes was further confirmed by real-time qPCR. In the results, a majority of the CDS pathway genes were significantly altered in the NE-induced intestinal mucosal layer from lines 6.3 and 7.2. In conclusion, our study indicate that NE seriously affects several genes involved in innate immune defense and foreign DNA sensing mechanisms in the chicken intestinal mucosal layer. Identifying the immune genes affected by NE could be an important evidence for the protective immune response to NE-causative pathogens. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. PMID: 26872625 [PubMed - in process] 

5. PLoS One. 2016 Feb 17;11(2):e0147988. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0147988. eCollection 2016. 

Net Effects of Ecotourism on Threatened Species Survival. 
Buckley RC(1), Morrison C(1), Castley JG(1). Author information: (1)School of Environment, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Australia. 

Many threatened species rely on ecotourism for conservation funding, but simultaneously suffer direct ecological impacts from ecotourism. For a range of IUCN-Redlisted terrestrial and marine bird and mammal species worldwide, we use population viability analyses to calculate the net effects of ecotourism on expected time to extinction, in the presence of other anthropogenic threats such as poaching, primary industries and habitat loss. Species for which these calculations are currently possible, for one or more subpopulations, include: orangutan, hoolock gibbon, golden lion tamarin, cheetah, African wild dog, New Zealand sealion, great green macaw, Egyptian vulture, and African penguin. For some but not all of these species, tourism can extend expected survival time, i.e., benefits outweigh impacts. Precise outcomes depend strongly on population parameters and starting sizes, predation, and ecotourism scale and mechanisms. Tourism does not currently overcome other major conservation threats associated with natural resource extractive industries. Similar calculations for other threatened species are currently limited by lack of basic population data. PMID: 26886876 [PubMed - in process] 

6. Annu Rev Anim Biosci. 2016 Feb 15;4:45-59. doi: 10.1146/annurev-animal-021815-111216. 

Perspectives from the Avian Phylogenomics Project: Questions that Can Be Answered with Sequencing All Genomes of a Vertebrate Class. 
Jarvis ED(1). Author information: (1)Department of Neurobiology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27710. 

The rapid pace of advances in genome technology, with concomitant reductions in cost, makes it feasible that one day in our lifetime we will have available extant genomes of entire classes of species, including vertebrates. I recently helped cocoordinate the large-scale Avian Phylogenomics Project, which collected and sequenced genomes of 48 bird species representing most currently classified orders to address a range of questions in phylogenomics and comparative genomics. The consortium was able to answer questions not previously possible with just a few genomes. This success spurred on the creation of a project to sequence the genomes of at least one individual of all extant ∼10,500 bird species. The initiation of this project has led us to consider what questions now impossible to answer could be answered with all genomes, and could drive new questions now unimaginable. These include the generation of a highly resolved family tree of extant species, genome-wide association studies across species to identify genetic substrates of many complex traits, redefinition of species and the species concept, reconstruction of the genomes of common ancestors, and generation of new computational tools to address these questions. Here I present visions for the future by posing and answering questions regarding what scientists could potentially do with available genomes of an entire vertebrate class. PMID: 26884102 [PubMed - in process] 

7. Biol Open. 2016 Feb 16. pii: bio.014779. doi: 10.1242/bio.014779. [Epub ahead of print] 

Does migratory distance affect fuelling in a medium-distance passerine migrant?: results from direct and step-wise simulated magnetic displacements. 
Ilieva M(1), Bianco G(2), Åkesson S(3). Author information: (1)Centre for Animal Movement Research, Department of Biology, Lund University, Ecology Building, Lund SE-223 62, Sweden Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, 2 Gagarin str., Sofia 1113, Bulgaria (2)Centre for Animal Movement Research, Department of Biology, Lund University, Ecology Building, Lund SE-223 62, Sweden. (3)Centre for Animal Movement Research, Department of Biology, Lund University, Ecology Building, Lund SE-223 62, Sweden 

In birds, fat accumulation before and during migration has been shown to be endogenously controlled and tuned by, among other factors, the Earth's magnetic field. However, our knowledge about the influence of the geomagnetic field on the fuelling in migrating birds is still limited to just a few nocturnally migrating passerine species. In order to study if variations of the magnetic field can also influence the fuelling of both day- and night-migrating passerines, we caught first-year dunnocks (Prunella modularis) and subjected them to three magnetic field conditions simulated by a system of magnetic coils: (1) local geomagnetic field of southern Sweden, (2) magnetic field corresponding to the centre of the expected wintering area, and (3) magnetic field met at the northern limit of the species' breeding distribution. We did not find a difference in mass increase between the birds kept in a local magnetic field and a field resembling their wintering area, irrespectively of the mode of magnetic displacement, i.e. direct or step-wise. However, the dunnocks magnetically displaced north showed a lower rate of fuelling in comparison to the control group, probably due to elevated activity. Compared with previous studies, our results suggest that the fuelling response to magnetic displacements during the migration period is specific to the eco-physiological situation. Future studies need to address if there is an effect of magnetic field manipulation on the level of migratory activity in dunnocks and how widespread the influence of local geomagnetic field parameters is on fuelling decisions in different bird species, which have different migratory strategies, distances and migration history. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd. PMID: 26883627 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] 

8. Sci Rep. 2016 Feb 17;6:20977. doi: 10.1038/srep20977. 

Cryptococcus neoformans Thermotolerance to Avian Body Temperature Is Sufficient For Extracellular Growth But Not Intracellular Survival In Macrophages. 
Johnston SA(1,)(2), Voelz K(3), May RC(3,)(4). Author information: (1)Department of Infection, Immunity and Cardiovascular Disease, Medical School, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK. (2)Bateson Centre, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK. (3)Institute of Microbiology and Infection and School of Biosciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK. (4)NIHR Surgical Reconstruction and Microbiology Research Centre, University Hospitals of Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, UK. 

Cryptococcus neoformans is a fatal fungal pathogen of humans that efficiently parasitises macrophages. Birds can be colonised by cryptococci and can transmit cryptococcosis to humans via inhalation of inoculated bird excreta. However, colonisation of birds appears to occur in the absence of symptomatic infection. Here, using a pure population of primary bird macrophages, we demonstrate a mechanism for this relationship. We find that bird macrophages are able to suppress the growth of cryptococci seen in mammalian cells despite C. neoformans being able to grow at bird body temperature, and are able to escape from bird macrophages by vomocytosis. A small subset of cryptococci are able to adapt to the inhibitory intracellular environment of bird macrophages, exhibiting a large cell phenotype that rescues growth suppression. Thus, restriction of intracellular growth combined with survival at bird body temperature explains the ability of birds to efficiently spread C. neoformans in the environment whilst avoiding systemic disease. PMID: 26883088 [PubMed - in process] 

9. J Comp Psychol. 2016 Feb;130(1):36-43. doi: 10.1037/a0040027. 

Mate call as reward: Acoustic communication signals can acquire positive reinforcing values during adulthood in female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata). 
Hernandez AM(1), Perez EC(1), Mulard H(1), Mathevon N(1), Vignal C(1). Author information: (1)Université de Lyon/Saint-Etienne, Neuro-PSI/ENES - CNRS UMR 9197. 

Social stimuli can have rewarding properties and promote learning. In birds, conspecific vocalizations like song can act as a reinforcer, and specific song variants can acquire particular rewarding values during early life exposure. Here we ask if, during adulthood, an acoustic signal simpler and shorter than song can become a reward for a female songbird because of its particular social value. Using an operant choice apparatus, we showed that female zebra finches display a preferential response toward their mate's calls. This reinforcing value of mate's calls could be involved in the maintenance of the monogamous pair-bond of the zebra finch. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved). PMID: 26881942 [PubMed - in process] 

10. Sci Data. 2016 Feb 16;3:160007. doi: 10.1038/sdata.2016.7. 

Analysing biodiversity and conservation knowledge products to support regional environmental assessments. 
Brooks TM(1,)(2,)(3), Akçakaya HR(4), Burgess ND(5,)(6), Butchart SH(7), Hilton-Taylor C(1), Hoffmann M(1,)(5), Juffe-Bignoli D(5), Kingston N(5), MacSharry B(5), Parr M(8), Perianin L(1), Regan EC(5,)(9), Rodrigues AS(10), Rondinini C(11), Shennan-Farpon Y(5), Young BE(12). Author information: (1)International Union for Conservation of Nature, 28 Rue Mauverney, 1196 Gland, Switzerland. (2)World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF), University of the Philippines Los Baños, Laguna 4031, Philippines. (3)School of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania 7001, Australia. (4)Department of Ecology and Evolution, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York 11794, USA. (5)United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre, 219 Huntingdon Road, Cambridge CB3 0DL, UK. (6)Center for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate, Natural History Museum, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen DK-2100, Denmark. (7)BirdLife International, Wellbrook Court, Cambridge CB2 3QZ, UK. (8)American Bird Conservancy, The Plains, Virginia 20198, USA. (9)The Biodiversity Consultancy, 3E King's Parade, Cambridge CB1 2RR, UK. (10)Centre d'Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive, CNRS UMR5175, 1919 Route de Mende, 34293 Montpellier, France. (11)Global Mammal Assessment programme, Department of Biology and Biotechnologies, Sapienza Università di Roma, Viale dell'Università 32, 00185 Roma, Italy. (12)NatureServe, Apdo. 358-1260, Plaza Colonial, San José, Costa Rica. 

Two processes for regional environmental assessment are currently underway: the Global Environment Outlook (GEO) and Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). Both face constraints of data, time, capacity, and resources. To support these assessments, we disaggregate three global knowledge products according to their regions and subregions. These products are: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, Key Biodiversity Areas (specifically Important Bird &Biodiversity Areas [IBAs], and Alliance for Zero Extinction [AZE] sites), and Protected Planet. We present fourteen Data citations: numbers of species occurring and percentages threatened; numbers of endemics and percentages threatened; downscaled Red List Indices for mammals, birds, and amphibians; numbers, mean sizes, and percentage coverages of IBAs and AZE sites; percentage coverage of land and sea by protected areas; and trends in percentages of IBAs and AZE sites wholly covered by protected areas. These data will inform the regional/subregional assessment chapters on the status of biodiversity, drivers of its decline, and institutional responses, and greatly facilitate comparability and consistency between the different regional/subregional assessments. PMID: 26881749 [PubMed - in process] 

11. PLoS One. 2016 Feb 16;11(2):e0149270. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0149270. eCollection 2016. 

Evaluating Functional Diversity: Missing Trait Data and the Importance of Species Abundance Structure and Data Transformation. 
Májeková M(1,)(2), Paal T(3), Plowman NS(4,)(5), Bryndová M(6,)(7), Kasari L(3), Norberg A(8), Weiss M(4), Bishop TR(9,)(10), Luke SH(11,)(12), Sam K(4,)(5), Le Bagousse-Pinguet Y(2,)(13), Lepš J(2,)(4), Götzenberger L(14), de Bello F(2,)(14). Author information: (1)Department of Soil Science, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovak Republic. (2)Department of Botany, Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia, České Budějovice, Czech Republic. (3)Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia. (4)Institute of Entomology, Biology Centre CAS, České Budějovice, Czech Republic. (5)Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia, České Budějovice, Czech Republic. (6)Institute of Soil Biology, Biology Centre CAS, České Budějovice, Czech Republic. (7)Department of Ecosystem Biology, Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia, České Budějovice, Czech Republic. (8)Department of Biosciences, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland. (9)Department of Earth, Ocean and Ecological Sciences, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, United Kingdom. (10)Centre for Invasion Biology, Department of Zoology and Entomology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa. (11)School of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom. (12)Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom. (13)Area de Biodiversidad y Conservación, Departamento de Ciencias, Escuela Superior de Ciencias Experimentales y Tecnología, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, C/ Tulipán s/n, Móstoles, Spain. (14)Institute of Botany, Biology Centre CAS, Třeboň, Czech Republic. 

Functional diversity (FD) is an important component of biodiversity that quantifies the difference in functional traits between organisms. However, FD studies are often limited by the availability of trait data and FD indices are sensitive to data gaps. The distribution of species abundance and trait data, and its transformation, may further affect the accuracy of indices when data is incomplete. Using an existing approach, we simulated the effects of missing trait data by gradually removing data from a plant, an ant and a bird community dataset (12, 59, and 8 plots containing 62, 297 and 238 species respectively). We ranked plots by FD values calculated from full datasets and then from our increasingly incomplete datasets and compared the ranking between the original and virtually reduced datasets to assess the accuracy of FD indices when used on datasets with increasingly missing data. Finally, we tested the accuracy of FD indices with and without data transformation, and the effect of missing trait data per plot or per the whole pool of species. FD indices became less accurate as the amount of missing data increased, with the loss of accuracy depending on the index. But, where transformation improved the normality of the trait data, FD values from incomplete datasets were more accurate than before transformation. The distribution of data and its transformation are therefore as important as data completeness and can even mitigate the effect of missing data. Since the effect of missing trait values pool-wise or plot-wise depends on the data distribution, the method should be decided case by case. Data distribution and data transformation should be given more careful consideration when designing, analysing and interpreting FD studies, especially where trait data are missing. To this end, we provide the R package "traitor" to facilitate assessments of missing trait data. PMID: 26881747 [PubMed - in process] 

12. Forensic Sci Int Genet. 2016 Feb 8;22:100-109. doi: 10.1016/j.fsigen.2016.02.003. [Epub ahead of print] 

SkydancerPlex: A novel STR multiplex validated for forensic use in the hen harrier (Circus cyaneus). 
van Hoppe MJ(1), Dy MA(1), van den Einden M(1), Iyengar A(2). Author information: (1)School of Forensic & Applied Sciences, University of Central Lancashire, PR1 2HE Preston, Lancashire, United Kingdom. (2)School of Forensic & Applied Sciences, University of Central Lancashire, PR1 2HE Preston, Lancashire, United Kingdom. Electronic address: 

The hen harrier (Circus cyaneus) is a bird of prey which is heavily persecuted in the UK because it preys on the game bird red grouse (Lagopus lagopus scoticus). To help investigations into illegal killings of hen harrier, a STR multiplex kit containing eight short tandem repeat (STR) markers and a chromohelicase DNA binding protein 1 (CHD 1) sexing marker was developed. The multiplex kit was tested for species specificity, sensitivity, robustness, precision, accuracy and stability. Full profiles were obtained with as little as 0.25ng of template DNA. Concurrent development of an allelic ladder to ensure reliable and accurate allele designation across laboratories makes the SkydancerPlex the first forensic DNA profiling system in a species of wildlife to be fully validated according to SWGDAM and ISFG recommendations. An average profile frequency of 3.67×10(-8), a PID estimate of 5.3×10(-9) and a PID-SIB estimate of 9.7×10(-4) make the SkydancerPlex an extremely powerful kit for individualisation. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved. PMID: 26881329 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] 

13. Mov Ecol. 2016 Feb 15;4:4. doi: 10.1186/s40462-016-0069-6. eCollection 2016. 

Gene expression in the brain of a migratory songbird during breeding and migration. 
Boss J(1), Liedvogel M(2), Lundberg M(3), Olsson P(4), Reischke N(3), Naurin S(3), Åkesson S(5), Hasselquist D(3), Wright A(6), Grahn M(6), Bensch S(3). Author information: (1)Karolinska Institute, Department of Laboratory Medicine, Clinical Research Center, Karolinska University Hospital, SE-14186 Huddinge, Sweden ; School of Natural Sciences, Technology and Environmental Studies, Södertörn University, SE-141 89 Huddinge, Sweden. (2)Department of Biology, Molecular Ecology and Evolution Laboratory, Lund University, Ecology Building, SE-22362 Lund, Sweden ; Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, AG Behavioural Genomics, August-Thienemann-Straße 2, 24306 Plön, Germany. (3)Department of Biology, Molecular Ecology and Evolution Laboratory, Lund University, Ecology Building, SE-22362 Lund, Sweden. (4)Centre of Environmental and Climate Research, Lund University, Ecology Building, SE-223 62 Lund, Sweden. (5)Department of Biology, Centre for Animal Movement Research, Lund University, Ecology Building, SE-22362 Lund, Sweden. (6)Karolinska Institute, Department of Laboratory Medicine, Clinical Research Center, Karolinska University Hospital, SE-14186 Huddinge, Sweden. 

BACKGROUND: We still have limited knowledge about the underlying genetic mechanisms that enable migrating species of birds to navigate the globe. Here we make an attempt to get insight into the genetic architecture controlling this complex innate behaviour. We contrast the gene expression profiles of two closely related songbird subspecies with divergent migratory phenotypes. In addition to comparing differences in migratory strategy we include a temporal component and contrast patterns between breeding adults and autumn migrating juvenile birds of both subspecies. The two willow warbler subspecies, Phylloscopus trochilus trochilus and P. t. acredula, are remarkably similar both in phenotype and genotype and have a narrow contact zone in central Scandinavia. Here we used a microarray gene chip representing 23,136 expressed sequence tags (ESTs) from the zebra finch Taeniopygia guttata to identify mRNA level differences in willow warbler brain tissue in relation to subspecies and season. RESULTS: Out of the 22,109 EST probe sets that remained after filtering poorly binding probes, we found 11,898 (51.8 %) probe sets that could be reliably and uniquely matched to a total of 6,758 orthologous zebra finch genes. The two subspecies showed very similar levels of gene expression with less than 0.1 % of the probe sets being significantly differentially expressed. In contrast, 3,045 (13.8 %) probe sets were found to be differently regulated between samples collected from breeding adults and autumn migrating juvenile birds. The genes found to be differentially expressed between seasons appeared to be enriched for functional roles in neuronal firing and neuronal synapse formation. CONCLUSIONS: Our results show that only few genes are differentially expressed between the subspecies. This suggests that the different migration strategies of the subspecies might be governed by few genes, or that the expression patterns of those genes are time-structured or tissue-specific in ways, which our approach fails to uncover. Our findings will be useful in the planning of new experiments designed to unravel the genes involved in the migratory program of birds. PMCID: PMC4753645 PMID: 26881054 [PubMed] 

14. Ann Parasitol. 2015;61(4):291-3. doi: 10.17420/ap6104.21. 

New host records for parasitic mites of the family Syringophilidae from accipitriform birds (Aves: Accipitriformes). 
Zmudzinski M(1), Unsoeld M(2), Knee W(3), Skoracki M(1). Author information: (1)Department of Animal Morphology, Faculty of Biology, Adam Mickiewicz University, Umultowska 89, 61-614 Poznań, Poland. (2)Ornithological Section, Bavarian State Collection of Zoology, Muenchhausenstrasse 21, 81247 Munich, Germany. (3)Canadian National Collection of Insects, Arachnids and Nematodes, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, 960 Carling Avenue, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1A 0C6. Four accipitriform bird species of the family Accipitridae are reported as new hosts for quill mites (Acari: Cheyletoidea: Syringophilidae): Megasyringophilus aquilus Skoracki, Lontkowski and Stawarczyk, 2010 was collected from Hieraaetus pennatus Gmelin, 1788 in France and Spain, and Buteo jamaicensis Gmelin, 1788 in Canada; Peristerophila accipitridicus Skoracki, Lontkowski and Stawarczyk, 2010 was collected from Circaetus gallicus Gmelin, 1788 in France, and Buteo lagopus Pontoppidan, 1763 in Germany.KEY WORDS: Acari, Accipitridae, birds, ectoparasites, quill mites. PMID: 26878628 [PubMed - in process] 19. Zookeys. 2016 Jan 20;(555):115-24. doi: 10.3897/zookeys.555.6173. eCollection 2016. GPS tracking data of Lesser Black-backed Gulls and Herring Gulls breeding at the southern North Sea coast. Stienen EW(1), Desmet P(1), Aelterman B(1), Courtens W(1), Feys S(2), Vanermen N(1), Verstraete H(1), de Walle MV(1), Deneudt K(3), Hernandez F(3), Houthoofdt R(3), Vanhoorne B(3), Bouten W(4), Buijs RJ(5), Kavelaars MM(6), Müller W(7), Herman D(8), Matheve H(8), Sotillo A(8), Lens L(8). Author information: (1)Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO), Kliniekstraat 25, 1070, Brussels, Belgium. (2)Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO), Kliniekstraat 25, 1070, Brussels, Belgium; Ethology (ETHO), University of Antwerp, Universiteitsplein 1, 2610, Antwerp, Belgium. (3)Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ), Wandelaarkaai 7, 8400, Ostend, Belgium. (4)Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED), University of Amsterdam, Science Park 904, 1098 XH, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. (5)Buijs Eco Consult B.V., Philips van Dorpstraat 49, 4698 RV, Oud-Vossemeer, The Netherlands. (6)Ethology (ETHO), University of Antwerp, Universiteitsplein 1, 2610, Antwerp, Belgium; Terrestrial Ecology Unit (TEREC), Ghent University, K.L. Ledeganckstraat 35, 9000, Ghent, Belgium. (7)Ethology (ETHO), University of Antwerp, Universiteitsplein 1, 2610, Antwerp, Belgium. (8)Terrestrial Ecology Unit (TEREC), Ghent University, K.L. Ledeganckstraat 35, 9000, Ghent, Belgium. 

In this data paper, Bird tracking - GPS tracking of Lesser Black-backed Gulls and Herring Gulls breeding at the southern North Sea coast is described, a species occurrence dataset published by the Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO). The dataset (version 5.5) contains close to 2.5 million occurrences, recorded by 101 GPS trackers mounted on 75 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and 26 Herring Gulls breeding at the Belgian and Dutch coast. The trackers were developed by the University of Amsterdam Bird Tracking System (UvA-BiTS, These automatically record and transmit bird movements, which allows us and others to study their habitat use and migration behaviour in great detail. Our bird tracking network is operational since 2013. It is funded for LifeWatch by the Hercules Foundation and maintained in collaboration with UvA-BiTS and the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ). The recorded data are periodically released in bulk as open data (, and are also accessible through CartoDB and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF). PMCID: PMC4740824 PMID: 26877689 [PubMed] 

15. Korean J Food Sci Anim Resour. 2015;35(6):715-20. doi: 10.5851/kosfa.2015.35.6.715. Epub 2015 Dec 31. 

Effects of Beak Trimming, Stocking Density and Sex on Carcass Yield, Carcass Components, Plasma Glucose and Triglyceride Levels in Large White Turkeys. 
Sengul T(1), Inci H(1), Sengul AY(1), Sogut B(1), Kiraz S(2). Author information: (1)Animal Science Department, Agricultural Faculty, Bingöl University, Bingöl 12000, Turkey. (2)Animal Science and Nutrition Department, Agricultural Faculty, Harran University, Sanliurfa 63300, Turkey. 

This study was conducted to determine the effects of beak trimming, stocking density (D) and sex (S) on live weight (LW), carcass yield and its component, and plasma glucose (PG) and triglyceride levels in Large White turkeys. To accomplish this aims, totally 288 d old large white turkey chicks (144 in each sex) were used. Beaks of 77 male and female poults were trimmed when 8 d old with an electrical beak trimmer. The birds were fed by commercial turkey rasion. Experiment was designed as 2 × 2 × 2 factorial arrangement with 3 replications in each group. Beak trimming and stocking density did not affect live weight, carcass composition and its components. The higher LW and carcass weight observed in trimmed groups. As expected, male birds are heavier than female, and carcass percentage (CP) would be adverse. However, in this study, CP of male was higher in trimmed, in 0.25 m(2)/bird. (D) × sex (S) interaction had an effect on both CP and thigh weights (p<0.05). Significantly D × S was observed in LW, CP and PG. The weight of carcass and its some components were higher in male. S × D interaction had an effect on plasma glucose level (p<0.05). Triglyceride level was affected (p<0.05) by sex. Significant relationships were found between percentage of thighs (r=0.447, p<0.01) and percentage of breast (r=0.400, p<0.01). According to this study, it can be said that trimming is useful with density of 0.25 m(2)/bird in turkey fattening. PMCID: PMC4726950 PMID: 26877630 [PubMed]

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