Biology Colloquium - Dr. Anna Greenwood

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Biology Colloquium - Dr. Anna Greenwood

Postby cdouglas » Thu Apr 18, 2013 8:47 am

California State University, Fresno
Department of Biology presents

How fish get schooled: genetic and neural mechanisms of schooling in sticklebacks

Dr. Anna Greenwood, Ph.D.
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Seattle, Washington

Friday, April 26, 3:00 PM
Science II 109

Although descriptions of striking diversity in animal behavior are plentiful, little is known about the mechanisms by which behaviors change and evolve between groups. To understand behavioral evolution, it will be necessary to identify the genetic and neural mechanisms that mediate behavioral change in a natural context. We have used variation in schooling in different populations of threespine sticklebacks to examine the genetic basis for the evolution of social behavior. Most sticklebacks exhibit robust schooling behavior.

However, several freshwater populations have been noted to be more solitary in the wild. Using a school of stickleback models, we can reliably elicit robust schooling behavior by marine fish in the laboratory. This assay can separate two critical features of schooling behavior: the tendency of fish to behave socially, and the coordination of body position with other members of the school. In this assay, freshwater fish show an overall reduction in the tendency to follow the models when compared with marine fish. Additionally, when freshwater fish do follow the models, they do so with a significantly less parallel body position compared to marine fish.

We used genetic mapping in freshwater X marine F2 hybrids to investigate the genetic basis for differences in schooling behavior. We identified a region on chromosome 4 that was significantly associated with differences in body position when schooling. This result is intriguing because we have also shown a correlation between this region and the anatomy of the lateral line, a sensory system previously implicated in schooling behavior in other fish. Current work is focused on investigating the relationship between lateral line anatomy and body position when schooling.

For further information: biology or phone 278-2001

If you need a disability-related accommodation or wheelchair access information, please contact Katie Williams at the Department of Biology @ 278-2001 or e-mail (at least one week in advance of the event).
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