WEBSITES DUE ON THE COURSES SERVER BY 5:00 PM
This is a draft deadline so that you have plenty of time to fix broken links,
image size etc. the majority of the content should be complete by now.
Week 10. Nov. 4th
Please post and comment on papers that describe genetic regulation of behavior.
These can be single genes, identified through mutant screens, naturally
occurring allelic variation, or genetic crosses that reveal heritability
of behaviors. Any animal (including humans).
When we search for the proximate factors for behavioral causes, we naturally
start with genes. Our understanding of how genes influence behavior has been
advanced both by studies of wild populations and model organisms in the lab.
While early studies identified single genes of large effect we now know that
the genomic architecture of many behaviors is complex. These are two separate,
but complementary approaches. We will be dwelling on genes and behavior for
the next few classes.
While much of our understanding of behavioral genetics derives from Drosophila mutants
and white lab mice, the examples of natural behavioral phenotypes affected
by naturally occurring allelic variation are potentailly more exciting because
these represent adaptive phenotypes (we'll get to a discussion of adaptation
later). This excitement for adaptive behaviors comes at a cost; one must weigh
the relative benefits and choose experimental systems wisely.
Essential Animal Behavior pp. 57-64.
but to see what the public is being told about genes and behavior have a
quick read of these two recent New York times articles.
Sokolowski (2001) Drosophila:
Behavior meets Genetics. Nature Genetics 2:877-892.
Arnold, S.J., Breden, F., Meffert, L.M., Ritchie, M.G., Taylor,B.J.,
Wolf, J.B., Moore, A.J. (2002) Genetic Tools for Studying Adaptation
and the evolution of behavior. The American Naturalist 160:S143-159.
MacKay, T.F.C. and Anholt,
R.R.H (2008) Ain't misbehavin'? Genotype-environment interactions and
the genetics of behavior. Trends in Genetics 23:311-314.
Here are two examples of exciting, adaptive behaviors, one a bit more natural
than the other.
Nair & Young (2005) Vasopressin
and Pair-Bond Formation: Genes to Brain to Behavior. Physiology 21:146-152.
Trut (1999) Early
Canid Domestication: The Farm-Fox Experiment. American Scientist 87:159-169.
Week 10. Nov. 6th
MOODLE: Genes and behavior
continued from tuesday.
Last week we talked about genetic variation and how it affects behavior. When
a gene product plays a strong role in regulating behavior, we can expect mutations
in that gene to cause changes in behavior. But what about two organisms that
have the same allele of an important "behavioral gene"? Even identical
twins can behave very differently. Even an individual organism changes behavioral
phenotypes through ontogeny, or even on a more rapid timescale. Today we will
discuss how these variations in behavior are orchestrated through changes
in gene expression. Recently, Gene Robinson, from the
University of Illinois, who studies honey bee behavior, has coined the term "sociogenomics" to
describe the field of behavioral genomics concerned with social behaviors.
This is one area of animal behavior that I study in my own lab. When reading
my recent paper (Renn et al., 2008) on gene expression and social dominance,
don't get bogged down in the details of individual genes, focus on the idea
of gene modules. To explore the regulation of individual genes you will read
a short review by Robert Saplosky which
briefly describes the work of Michael Meaney's lab concerning the regulation
of gene expression by maternal behavior. This is one of the coolest stories
in animal behavior today. I encourage you to look at some of the primary literature.
The Weaver et al., 2004 paper is a well written and thorough paper which made
quite a splash when it first came out. Meaney's research group continues to
focus on this topic and has published many papers on these same genes and
a few others (e.g. Cameron et al., 2008).
Robinson, G. E., Grozinger,
C.M., and Whitfield, C.W. (2005) Sociogenomics: Social life in molecular
terms. Nature Reviews Genetics 6:257-271.
Renn, S.C.P., Aubin-Horth, N. and
Hofmann, H.A. (2008) Fish and Chips:Functional
Genomics of Social Plasticity in an African Cichlid Fish. Journal of Experimental
Sapolksy (2004) Mothering
style and methylation. Nature Neuroscience 7:791-192.
After a short break:
I wouldn't ask you to read an entire book on the history of animal behavior.
Instead, we will read a review of a book about the history of animal behavior.
Consider it Cliff's Notes.
(2008) Book Review. Biol Philos 23:129–134
The book is :
History of ethology comes of age
Richard W. Burkhardt Jr., Patterns of Behaviour: Konrad Lorenz, Niko Tinbergen
and the Founding of Ethology. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 2005,
636 +xii pp., paper back, $29.00, ISBN-10: 0-226-08090-0