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

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.


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

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