Navigation Links
When she's turned on, some of her genes turn off
Date:12/10/2007

AUSTIN, TexasWhen a female is attracted to a male, entire suites of genes in her brain turn on and off, show biologists from The University of Texas at Austin studying swordtail fish.

Molly Cummings and Hans Hofmann found that some genes were turned on when females found a male attractive, but a larger number of genes were turned off.

When females were most excitedwhen attractive males were aroundwe observed the greatest down regulation [turning off] of genes, said Cummings, assistant professor of integrative biology. Its possible that this could lead to a release of inhibition, a transition to being receptive to mating.

The same genes that turned on when the females were with attractive males turned off when they were with other females and vice versa.

This is one of few studies to link changes in the expression of genes with changes in an individuals behavior in different social situations.

Cummings and Hofmann suggest that the gene sets they studied could be involved in orchestrating mating responses in all vertebrates.

Their research appeared online December 4 in Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B.

Female swordtails are attracted to males that are large and have ornaments on their bodies, such as long tails and striking coloration.

In experiments, females were placed in the center of a tank separated into three zones for 30 minutes. When an attractive male was in one of the adjacent zones, females showed typical behaviors indicating that they had chosen the male for mating. The females were also tested with other females, with unattractive smaller males, and in empty tanks.

The researchers immediately extracted RNA from the females and used gene array technology to identify genes that were being up regulated (turned on) and down regulated (turned off) in the females brains.

The researchers looked at more than 3,000 genes and found that 77 were involved in the females mate choice behavior.

Weve found a number of new genes that havent been implicated in mating behavior before, said Hofmann, assistant professor of integrative biology.

The genes turned on or off very quickly during the 30-minute testing period.

What we have not appreciated until now is how dynamic the genome is, said Hofmann. It is constantly changing and even in a very short period of time, 10 percent of the protein-coding genome can change its activity. We now have a genomic view of these dynamic processes within a social context.

The biologists next seek to identify specific regions in the brain where the genes are expressed. They also aim to enhance or inhibit specific genes and observe the resulting behavioral change.

Wed like to take a female who is a high preference gal and make her a low preference gal and vice versa, said Cummings.

She said that gaining a better understanding of individual expression of behavior and its underlying genetic causes can shed light on how behavior drives and maintains the evolution and diversification of species.


'/>"/>

Contact: Lee Clippard
lclippard@mail.utexas.edu
512-232-0675
University of Texas at Austin
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Adaptation to parasites drive African fishes along different evolutionary paths
2. Biologists expose hidden costs of firefly flashes
3. University biologist publishes book on bird speciation
4. Newfound ancient African megadroughts may have driven the evolution of humans and fishes
5. DOE publishes update of plan: Facilities for the Future of Science: A 20-Year Outlook
6. Brain cell growth diminishes long before old age strikes, animal study shows
7. Gene regulation, not just genes, is what sets humans apart
8. Interaction of just 2 genes governs coloration patterns in mice
9. Muscle mass: Scientists identify novel mode of transcriptional regulation during myogenesis
10. Study finds blocking angiogenesis signaling from inside cell may lead to serious health problems
11. Smoking turns on genes -- permanently
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:11/14/2016)... Nov. 14, 2016  Based on its ... Frost & Sullivan recognizes FST Biometrics with ... for Visionary Innovation Leadership. FST Biometrics emerged ... identification market by pioneering In Motion Identification ... instant, seamless, and non-invasive verification. This patented ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... June 22, 2016 On Monday, the Department ... industry to share solutions for the Biometric Exit Program. ... and Border Protection (CBP), explains that CBP intends to ... the United States , in order ... defeat imposters. Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160622/382209LOGO ...
(Date:6/15/2016)... 2016 Transparency Market Research ... Market by Application Market - Global Industry Analysis Size Share ... the report, the  global gesture recognition market  was ... is estimated to grow at a CAGR of ... Increasing application of gesture recognition technology ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 01, 2016 , ... ... findings demonstrating the value of DNA microarray comparative genomic hybridization (array CGH) ... Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. Using molecular test results from tumors with previously ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... 01, 2016 , ... DrugDev believes the only way to achieve ... experience. All three tenets were on display at the 2nd Annual DrugDev User Summit ... sponsor, CRO and site organizations to discuss innovation and the future of clinical research. ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... , Dec. 1, 2016   SurePure, Inc. ... announced today that the Company has concluded an agreement ... right for a 90-day period to acquire units of ... of approximately USD 3.7 million.  Concurrently ... with Tamarack under which Tamarack will seek regulatory approvals ...
(Date:11/30/2016)...  GenomOncology today announced the appointment of Joshua F. ... Dr. Coleman will oversee clinical content development and ... The GenomOncology software suite empowers molecular pathologists with a seamless ... decision support, from quality control through reporting. ... , , ...
Breaking Biology Technology: