With the sequencing of the zebra finch genome, a new resource has been made available to biologists of many disciplines. A thematic series published by BioMed Central, the open access publisher, touches upon several of their unique insights.
As part of the series, a study published in BMC Neuroscience presents key information on genes related to steroid receptors and estrogen biosynthesis. Researchers writing in BMC Genomics provide insights into how proteases may shape neuron-functional, immunological and developmental processes, as well as the identity and expression patterns of neuropeptides involved in the development and functionality of brain circuits involved in vocal communication.
According to Raphael Pinaud, writing in the Journal of Biology, "Over the next few years these efforts will contribute to an integrative understanding of how the songbird genomic machinery responds to environmental and physiological challenges and, more broadly, how the songbird brain is functionally organized. In addition, active research in these areas is expected to shed light on basic biological and evolutionary principles in vertebrates."
The full thematic series is available at the BioMed Central website: http://www.biomedcentral.com/series/zebrafinch
- Sarah E Londo, Yuichiro Itoh, Valentin A Lance, Petra M Wise, Preethika S Ekanayake, Randi K Oyama, Arthur P Arnold and Barney A Schlinger. Neural expression and post-transcriptional dosage compensation of the steroid metabolic enzyme 17 beta-HSD type 4. BMC Neuroscience, 2010; 11: 47 DOI: 10.1186/1471-2202-11-47
- Victor Quesada, Gloria Velasco, Xose S Puente, Wesley C Warren and Carlos Lopez-Otin. Comparative genomic analysis of the zebra finch degradome provides new insights into evolution of proteases in birds and mammals. BMC Genomics, 2010; 11: 220 DOI: 10.1186/1471-2164-11-220
- Raphael Pinaud. Genome of a songbird unveiled. Journal of Biology, 2010, 9: 19 DOI: 10.1186/jbiol222
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