Posts Tagged ‘Phenotypic Traits’

Demystifying animal ‘personality (or not): why individual variation matters to experimental biologists [COMMENTARY]

Dominique G. Roche, Vincent Careau, and Sandra A. BinningAnimal ‘personality’, defined as repeatable inter-individual differences in behaviour, is a concept in biology that faces intense controversy. Critics argue that the field is riddled…

Craniofacial development of hagfishes and the evolution of vertebrates

Cyclostomes, the living jawless vertebrates including hagfishes and lampreys, represent the most basal lineage of vertebrates. Although the monophyly of cyclostomes has been supported by recent molecular analyses, the phenotypic traits of hagfishes, especially the lack of some vertebrate-defining features and the reported endodermal origin of the adenohypophysis, have been interpreted as hagfishes exhibiting a more ancestral state than those of all other vertebrates. Furthermore, the adult anatomy of hagfishes cannot be compared easily with that of lampreys. Here we describe the craniofacial development of a series of staged hagfish embryos, which shows that their adenohypophysis arises ectodermally, consistent with the molecular phylogenetic data. This finding also allowed us to identify a pan-cyclostome pattern, one not shared by jawed vertebrates. Comparative analyses indicated that many of the hagfish-specific traits can be explained by changes secondarily introduced into the hagfish lineage. We also propose a possibility that the pan-cyclostome pattern may reflect the ancestral programme for the craniofacial development of all living vertebrates.

Host-parasite molecular cross-talk during the manipulative process of a host by its parasite [New approaches]

David G. Biron and Hugh D. Loxdale
Many parasite taxa are able to alter a wide range of phenotypic traits of their hosts in ways that seem to improve the parasite’s chance of completing its life cycle. Host behavioural alterations are classically…


The present invention relates to methods and systems for inducible ablation of neural cells, in particular non-proliferating cells, such as oligodendrocytes and Schwann cells. The methods and systems include an animal model that can be specifically ind…

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