sh.sePublications
Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
Gene expression in the brain of a migratory songbird during breeding and migration
Södertörn University, School of Natural Sciences, Technology and Environmental Studies. Karolinska Institute.
Lund University / Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Plön, Germany.
Lund University.
Lund University.
Show others and affiliations
2016 (English)In: Movement Ecology, E-ISSN 2051-3933, Vol. 4, 4Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

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.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 4, 4
Keyword [en]
Behavior; Birds; Calcium transport; Gene expression; Microarray; Migration; Phylloscopus trochilus; Synapse
National Category
Ecology
Research subject
Environmental Studies; Baltic and East European studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-29549DOI: 10.1186/s40462-016-0069-6PubMedID: 26881054OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-29549DiVA: diva2:904464
Funder
The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies, A067-08
Available from: 2016-02-18 Created: 2016-02-18 Last updated: 2017-07-17Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Other links

Publisher's full textPubMedPMC Full text

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Grahn, Mats
By organisation
School of Natural Sciences, Technology and Environmental StudiesBiology
In the same journal
Movement Ecology
Ecology

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar

Altmetric score

Total: 130 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf