Behavioral Variation (behavioral + variation)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Increased Behavioral Variation and the Calculation of Release Numbers for Reintroduction Programs

This increased variation can translate into decreased survivorship upon reintroduction to native habitats. Data show that captive populations of oldfield mice (Peromyscus polionotus subgriseus) exhibit such an increase in variation. Motivated by these results, we developed a series of calculations for a "release ratio" that can be used to determine the number of captive-bred animals needed to compensate for the increased variance. We present calculations of release ratios for behavioral and morphological variables with different distributions and illustrate the functional relationship between release numbers, increased variation, and change in average behavior and morphology. Our calculations indicated that the release of 130,150 captive-bred oldfield mice is equivalent to the release of 100 wildlike animals. Release ratios will vary among species, however, and perhaps among different populations of the same species and should be calculated separately for each situation. Development of the release ratio is the first rigorous effort to incorporate behavioral and morphological changes due to captivity into reintroduction planning. Release ratios will help conservation biologists ensure that the appropriate number of animals is released, thus increasing the success of reintroduction programs. Resumen:,Las poblaciones cautivas pueden exhibir mayor variación conductual que sus contrapartes silvestres como resultado del relajamiento de presiones selectivas en el ambiente de cautiverio. Esta variación incrementada puede traducirse en una disminución de la supervivencia en la reintroducción a hábitats nativos. Hay datos que muestran que poblaciones cautivas de ratones Peromyscus polionotus subgriseus exhiben tal incremento en la variación. Motivados por estos resultados, desarrollamos una serie de cálculos para un "índice de liberación" que pueda utilizarse para determinar el número de animales criados en cautiverio requerido para compensar la variación incrementada. Presentamos los cálculos de 2 índices de liberación para variables conductuales y morfológicas con distribuciones diferentes e ilustramos la relación funcional entre el número de liberaciones, la variación incrementada y el cambio en la conducta promedio y la morfología. Nuestros cálculos indicaron que la liberación de 130 a 150 ratones es equivalente a la liberación de 100 animales silvestres. Sin embargo, los índices de liberación varían entre especies y quizás entre poblaciones diferentes de la misma especie y deben calcularse por separado en cada situación. El desarrollo de índices de liberación es el primer esfuerzo riguroso para incorporar cambios conductuales y morfológicos debido al cautiverio en la planificación de reintroducciones. Los índices de liberación ayudarán a que los biólogos de la conservación se aseguren que el número de animales liberados es el apropiado, incrementando con ello el éxito de los programas de reintroducción. [source]

The Bold and the Variable: Fish with High Heterozygosity Act Recklessly in the Vicinity of Predators

ETHOLOGY, Issue 1 2008
Sampsa Vilhunen
Variation in the innate behavioral response to predation threat is often assumed to reflect genetic differences among the prey individuals. To date, no published results, however, exist that would offer explanation for the origin of this behavioral variation within populations. Using microsatellites as markers, we estimated the genetic variability of juvenile brown trout (Salmo trutta) individuals whose behavior had been individually recorded in a trade-off situation where both predator chemical cues and food were present. Mean overall heterozygosity and the internal relatedness of fish associated significantly with their activity and foraging, so that the genetically more variable individuals showed more risk-prone behavior under predation risk. No association between genetic variability and behavior was found in trials where predator odors were not present. These results were consistent over the three study populations of brown trout with different backgrounds, suggesting that the phenomenon is of general nature in this species. Of the possible mechanisms suggested to enable the existence of the positive association between neutral microsatellite variation and fitness-related trait, the local effect hypothesis gained more support from our data than the general effect hypothesis. [source]

Association of DRD4 polymorphism with severity of oppositional defiant disorder, separation anxiety disorder and repetitive behaviors in children with autism spectrum disorder

Kenneth D. Gadow
Abstract The objective was to examine whether a common polymorphism in the dopamine D4 receptor gene (DRD4) might be a potential biomarker for behavioral variation within the autism spectrum disorder clinical phenotype. Children (N = 66) were evaluated with a validated mother- and teacher-completed DSM-IV-referenced rating scale. Partial eta-squared (,p2) was used to gauge the magnitude of group differences: 0.01,0.06 = small, 0.06,0.14 = moderate and > 0.14 = large. Children who were 7-repeat allele carriers had more severe oppositional defiant disorder behaviors according to mothers' (,p2 = 0.10) and teachers' (,p2 = 0.06) ratings than noncarriers, but the latter was marginally significant (P = 0.07). Children who were 7-repeat allele carriers also obtained more severe maternal ratings of tics (,p2 = 0.07) and obsessions,compulsions (,p2 = 0.08). Findings for maternal ratings of separation anxiety were marginally significant (P = 0.08, ,p2 = 0.05). Analyses of combined DRD4 and dopamine transporter gene (DAT1) genotypes approached significance (P = 0.05) for teachers' ratings of oppositional behavior and mothers' ratings of tics. DRD4 allelic variation may be a prognostic biomarker for challenging behaviors in children with autism spectrum disorder, but these exploratory findings remain tentative pending replication with larger independent samples. [source]

Hormone response to bidirectional selection on social behavior

Gro V. Amdam
SUMMARY Behavior is a quantitative trait determined by multiple genes. Some of these genes may have effects from early development and onward by influencing hormonal systems that are active during different life-stages leading to complex associations, or suites, of traits. Honey bees (Apis mellifera) have been used extensively in experiments on the genetic and hormonal control of complex social behavior, but the relationships between their early developmental processes and adult behavioral variation are not well understood. Bidirectional selective breeding on social food-storage behavior produced two honey bee strains, each with several sublines, that differ in an associated suite of anatomical, physiological, and behavioral traits found in unselected wild type bees. Using these genotypes, we document strain-specific changes during larval, pupal, and early adult life-stages for the central insect hormones juvenile hormone (JH) and ecdysteroids. Strain differences correlate with variation in female reproductive anatomy (ovary size), which can be influenced by JH during development, and with secretion rates of ecdysteroid from the ovaries of adults. Ovary size was previously assigned to the suite of traits of honey bee food-storage behavior. Our findings support that bidirectional selection on honey bee social behavior acted on pleiotropic gene networks. These networks may bias a bee's adult phenotype by endocrine effects on early developmental processes that regulate variation in reproductive traits. [source]

Association of vasopressin 1a receptor levels with a regulatory microsatellite and behavior

E. A. D. Hammock
Vasopressin regulates complex behaviors such as anxiety, parenting, social engagement and attachment and aggression in a species-specific manner. The capacity of vasopressin to modulate these behaviors is thought to depend on the species-specific distribution patterns of vasopressin 1a receptors (V1aRs) in the brain. There is considerable individual variation in the pattern of V1aR binding in the brains of the prairie vole species, Microtus ochrogaster. We hypothesize that this individual variability in V1aR expression levels is associated with individual variation in a polymorphic microsatellite in the 5, regulatory region of the prairie vole v1ar gene. Additionally, we hypothesize that individual variation in V1aR expression contributes to individual variation in vasopressin-dependent behaviors. To test these hypotheses, we first screened 20 adult male prairie voles for behavioral variation using tests that measure anxiety-related and social behaviors. We then assessed the brains of those animals for V1aR variability with receptor autoradiography and used polymerase chain reaction to genotype the same animals for the length of their 5, microsatellite polymorphism in the v1ar gene. In this report, we describe the results of this discovery-based experimental approach to identify potential gene, brain and behavior interrelationships. The analysis reveals that V1aR levels, in some but not all brain regions, are associated with microsatellite length and that V1aR levels in those and other brain regions correlate with anxiety-related and social behaviors. These results generate novel hypotheses regarding neural control of anxiety-related and social behaviors and yield insight into potential mechanisms by which non-coding gene polymorphisms may influence behavioral traits. [source]

SNP Discovery and Haplotype Analysis in the Segmentally Duplicated DRD5 Coding Region

Donna J. E. Housley
Summary The dopamine receptor 5 gene (DRD5) holds much promise as a candidate locus for contributing to neuropsychiatric disorders and other diseases influenced by the dopaminergic system, as well as having potential to affect normal behavioral variation. However, detailed analyses of this gene have been complicated by its location within a segmentally duplicated chromosomal region. Microsatellites and SNPs upstream from the coding region have been used for association studies, but we find, using bioinformatics resources, that these markers all lie within a previously unrecognized second segmental duplication (SD). In order to accurately analyze the DRD5 locus for polymorphisms in the absence of contaminating pseudogene sequences, we developed a fast and reliable method for sequence analysis and genotyping within the DRD5 coding region. We employed restriction enzyme digestion of genomic DNA to eliminate the pseudogenes prior to PCR amplification of the functional gene. This approach allowed us to determine the DRD5 haplotype structure using 31 trios and to reveal additional rare variants in 171 unrelated individuals. We clarify the inconsistencies and errors of the recorded SNPs in dbSNP and HapMap and illustrate the importance of using caution when choosing SNPs in regions of suspected duplications. The simple and relatively inexpensive method presented herein allows for convenient analysis of sequence variation in DRD5 and can be easily adapted to other duplicated genomic regions in order to obtain good quality sequence data. [source]