Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 562094
Title The genomics of circadian timing in a wild bird, the great tit (Parus major)
Author(s) Laine, Veronika N.; Atema, Els; Vlaming, Priscilla; Verhagen, Irene; Mateman, Christa; Ramakers, Jip J.C.; Oers, Kees van; Spoelstra, Kamiel; Visser, Marcel E.
Source Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 7 (2019). - ISSN 2296-701X
DOI https://doi.org/10.3389/fevo.2019.00152
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2019
Keyword(s) Circadian rhythm - Clock - GWAS - Heritability - Parus major
Abstract

Circadian rhythms are ubiquitous among taxa and are essential for coping with recurrent daily events, leading to selection on the properties of the clock underlying these rhythms. To quantify this selection in the wild, we need, however, to phenotype wild individuals, which is difficult using the standard laboratory approach for which individuals need to be kept under constant conditions. To overcome this problem, we explored the possibility to link the variation in a key clock property, circadian period (Tau), to genetic variation. We measured Tau in 152 captive great tits (Parus major). We further linked Tau to two circadian phase markers, the onset of activity in the Light:Dark cycle, and the first onset in constant conditions (Dim:Dim), directly after entrainment. We did a genome-wide association study using a 650 k SNP chip, and we linked genetic polymorphisms of a set of 12 candidate genes, to Tau and the two circadian phase markers. In line with earlier studies, Tau was heritable (h2 = 0.48 ± 0.22). Despite this genetic variation, we did not find any significant associations at the genome-wide level with the measured traits and only one candidate gene showed association with onset of activity in the Light:Dark cycle. Identifying the genetic base of circadian timing for wild species thus remains challenging. Including alternative molecular methods such as epigenetics or transcriptomics could help to unravel the molecular basis of the biological clock in great tits.

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