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:2/4/2016)... LONDON , Feb. 4, 2016 ... is apparently one of the most popular hubs ... Project, MetaHIT and other huge studies of human ... that past few years, the microbiome space has ... applied biomedical research. This report focuses on ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... Feb. 3, 2016 ... of the "Emotion Detection and Recognition ... and Others), Software Tools (Facial Expression, Voice ... Users,and Regions - Global forecast to 2020" ... --> http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/d8zjcd/emotion_detection ) has announced the ...
(Date:2/2/2016)... 2016 Technology Enhancements Accelerate Growth of X-ray Imaging ... digital and computed radiography markets in Thailand ... Indonesia (TIM). It provides an in-depth ... well as regional market drivers and restraints. The study ... and market attractiveness, both for digital and computed radiography. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/11/2016)... 11, 2016   BioInformant announces the February ... Research Products, Opportunities, Tools, and Technologies – Market Size, ... The first and ... cell industry, BioInformant has more than a decade of ... market, by stem cell type. This powerful 175 page ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... WASHINGTON , February 10, 2016 Early-career ... , Peru , Uganda ... their life-enhancing work in health and nutrition   Indonesia ... Uganda and Yemen are ... sciences and epidemiology. They are also celebrated for mentoring young women scientists ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... Feb. 10, 2016  IsoRay, Inc. (NYSE MKT: ISR), ... and medical radioisotope applications for the treatment of prostate, ... announced its financial results for the second quarter and ... 2015. --> --> ... of fiscal 2016, which ended December 31, 2015, a ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... LATHAM, NEW YORK... ... SPIE Photonics West conference in San Francisco’s Moscone Center from February 16-18, ... same venue. , These latest InGaAs PIN diode standard packages feature a TO-46 ...
Breaking Biology Technology: