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
Behavioral Genetics

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.
NY-Times 2005
NY-Times 2007
Sokolowski (2001) Drosophila: Behavior meets Genetics. Nature Genetics 2:877-892.

Boak, C.R.B., 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
Behavioral Genomics

MOODLE: Genes and behavior
continued from tuesday.

Last week we talked about genetic variation and how it affects behavior. gene robinsonWhen 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 fishthe 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 wrathich 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 Biology.
Sapolksy (2004) Mothering style and methylation. Nature Neuroscience 7:791-192.

encouraged to read:
Weaver, I.C.G., Cervoni, N., Champagne, F.A., D’Alessio, A.C., Sharma, S., Seckl, J.R., Dymov W., Szyf, M. & Meaney, M.J. (2004) Epigenetic programming by maternal behavior. Nature Neuroscience 7:847 - 854.
Cameron et al (2008) Epigenetic Programming of Phenotypic variations in reproductive strategies in the rat through maternal care. Journal of Neuroendocrinology 20:795-801.


After a short break:

Scientific Process:
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.
Griffiths, P.E. (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