Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

First transgenic prairie voles may help unlock secrets of pair bonding

Date:
December 2, 2009
Source:
Emory University
Summary:
Researchers have generated the first transgenic prairie voles, an important step toward unlocking the genetic secrets of pair bonding. The technology will enable scientists to perform a host of genetic manipulations that will help identify the brain mechanisms of social bonding and other complex social behaviors. It also have important implications for understanding and treating psychiatric disorders associated with impairments in social behavior.

Researchers have successfully generated the first transgenic prairie voles.
Credit: Zoe Donaldson, Yerkes National Primate Research Center

Researchers at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, have successfully generated the first transgenic prairie voles, an important step toward unlocking the genetic secrets of pair bonding. The future application of this technology will enable scientists to perform a host of genetic manipulations that will help identify the brain mechanisms of social bonding and other complex social behaviors.

Related Articles


This advancement may also have important implications for understanding and treating psychiatric disorders associated with impairments in social behavior.

The study is available in the December issue of Biology of Reproduction.

Lead researcher Zoe Donaldson, PhD, and her colleagues adapted transgenic technology to the prairie vole, a naturally occurring monogamous rodent that is being used to discover the brain mechanisms underlying monogamous pair bonds.

"Domesticated lab rats and mice dominate biomedical research, but wild rodent species with more complex social behaviors are better suited for investigating the biology of the social brain. Until now, genetic engineering among rodents has been limited to lab mice and rats," says Donaldson.

Single-cell prairie vole embryos were injected with a lentivirus containing a gene found in glowing jellyfish. The gene encodes a green fluorescent protein, which glows under the appropriate conditions. The prairie vole that developed from this embryo expressed the green fluorescent protein throughout its body, and the foreign gene was passed on to the offspring for multiple generations.

Larry Young, PhD, a Yerkes-based senior investigator on the study and an expert in social behavior, will next use this technology to determine whether monogamy and its associated social behaviors can be affected by manipulating a single gene. Researchers are also investigating ways to refine this technology in order to alter gene expression in certain brain regions as well as at certain developmental milestones.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Emory University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Zoe R. Donaldson, Shang-Hsun Yang, Anthony W.s. Chan, and Larry J. Young. Production of Germline Transgenic Prairie Voles (Microtus ochrogaster) Using Lentiviral Vectors. Biology of Reproduction, 2009; 81 (6): 1189 DOI: 10.1095/biolreprod.109.077529

Cite This Page:

Emory University. "First transgenic prairie voles may help unlock secrets of pair bonding." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 December 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091201131734.htm>.
Emory University. (2009, December 2). First transgenic prairie voles may help unlock secrets of pair bonding. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 31, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091201131734.htm
Emory University. "First transgenic prairie voles may help unlock secrets of pair bonding." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091201131734.htm (accessed January 31, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

NFL Concussions Down; Still on Parents' Minds

NFL Concussions Down; Still on Parents' Minds

AP (Jan. 30, 2015) The NFL announced this week that the number of game concussions dropped by a quarter over last season. Still, the dangers of the sport still weigh on players, and parents&apos; minds. (Jan. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Shows Newborn Chicks Count From Left to Right Just Like Humans

Study Shows Newborn Chicks Count From Left to Right Just Like Humans

Buzz60 (Jan. 30, 2015) Researchers for the first time identified human&apos;s innate preference for associating low and high numbers with the left and right respectively in another species. Jen Markham (@jenmarkham) explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Best Mood Elevating, Feel Good Shakes & Smoothies

Best Mood Elevating, Feel Good Shakes & Smoothies

Buzz60 (Jan. 30, 2015) You can elevate your mood by having a meal in a glass. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) offers the best &apos;feel good&apos; smoothies and shakes chock full of depression-relieving ingredients...including apples, berries, lemons, cucumbers, papaya, kiwi, spinach, kale, whey protein, matcha, ginger, turmeric and cinnamon. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Poll Says Firstborn Is Responsible, Youngest Is Funnier

Poll Says Firstborn Is Responsible, Youngest Is Funnier

Newsy (Jan. 30, 2015) According to a poll out of the U.K., eldest siblings feel more responsible and successful than their younger siblings. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins