Navigation Links
Great tits: birds with character
Date:2/9/2010

In 2007, researchers of the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology found a gene related to individual variation in exploratory behaviour in great tits. Birds with a certain variant of this so-called "dopamine receptor D4 gene" (DRD4 gene) showed stronger novelty seeking and exploration behaviour than individuals with other variants. This association was originally tested and found in a lab-raised group of birds.

Now, a large international group of researchers around Bart Kempenaers, director at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, Germany, repeated the test in adult wild birds captured in the field. Research groups from the Centre for Terrestrial Ecology in Heteren (NL), the Universities of Antwerp (Belgium) and Groningen (NL), and the Edward Grey Institute of Field Ornithology in Oxford (UK) all measured exploratory behaviour of large numbers of great tits in a similar way. And they brought their data together to test the generality of the association between the different gene variants and exploration behaviour. "To our knowledge, this is the most extensive study of gene variants underlying personality-related behavioural variation in a free-living animal to date, and the first to compare different wild populations", says Peter Korsten, first author and a former member of Kempenaers' department.

Similar results in great tits and humans

To their surprise, the researchers found the association between the gene and the behaviour present in one population, but not in three others. "It was important to confirm the association between the DRD4 variants and exploratory behaviour in the original population", says Kempenaers, but he adds "We do not yet understand the differences between populations". However, the results mirror the outcome of similar research into gene-personality associations in humans, which also varies between populations. More than 30 studies confirmed that the DRD4 gene is associated with novelty seeking in humans, but large differences between populations were observed, and several studies did not find an effect. "Perhaps further investigation of great tit populations could shed some light on the differences in outcome in the human populations", says Peter Korsten. The difference between populations is perhaps not that surprising, given the small effect of the gene's variants on the behaviour, and may be explained by a strong influence of the environment or through the effects of other (still unknown) genes.


'/>"/>

Contact: Bart Kempenaers
b.kempenaers@orn.mpg.de
49-081-579-32334
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Deadly fish virus now found in all Great Lakes
2. First molars provide insight into evolution of great apes, humans
3. Great wines come from great soils
4. Treatment not testicular cancer poses greatest risk to survivors long-term health
5. Great tits eat bats in times of need
6. Worlds last great forest under threat: New study
7. Why sleep? UCLA scientist delves into one of sciences great mysteries
8. Round Goby invade Great Lakes
9. Investing wisely to save the Great Barrier Reef
10. Ovarian transplantation: New technique gives greatly improved results in this delicate operation
11. New, less invasive genetic test greatly improves pregnancy rates in older women with poor prognosis
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/28/2017)... 28, 2017   Acuant , a leading provider ... significant enhancements to new and core technologies building upon ... include mobile and desktop Acuant FRM TM facial ... a real time manual review of identity documents by ... the fastest and most accurate capture software to streamline ...
(Date:2/28/2017)...  EyeLock LLC, ein marktführendes Unternehmen im Bereich ... Lösung zur Iris-Erkennung auf der neuesten Mobilplattform ... dem Mobile World Congress 2017 (27. Februar ... 3, Stand 3E10, vorstellen. Der ... – eine Kombination aus Hardware, Software und ...
(Date:2/26/2017)... Feb. 25, 2017  Securus Technologies, a leading ... for public safety, investigation, corrections and monitoring, announces ... Reentry. "Too often, too many offenders ... county jails are trying to tackle this ongoing ... friends and family members. While significant steps are underway, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/23/2017)... March 23, 2017 According to a report ... derivatives market is fragmented due to the presence of a large pool ... Thermo Fisher , and Sigma-Aldrich, compete with each other in ... collectively, held more than 76% of this market in 2016.  ... As of now, a ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... -- Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: REGN), today announced a major ... and GSK to generate genetic sequence data from the 500,000 ... enable researchers to gain valuable insights to support advances in ... serious and life threatening diseases. ... Genetic evidence has revolutionized scientific ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... 2017 Good Start Genetics, a leading family ... 130 million covered lives mark through its most recent ... Texas . With newly signed contracts nationally and ... strong payor acceptance based on the quality of its ... counseling, its industry-leading customer care and support and its ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... , March 22, 2017 MarketNewsUpdates.com News ... ... conditions are being pressured as of late due to the ... pain management has a dramatic impact on patient,s quality of ... development activities for identifying new forms of opioid formulations that ...
Breaking Biology Technology: