Loss-of-function approaches in comparative physiology: is there a future for knockdown experiments in the era of genome editing?
Summary: We discuss the merits and pitfalls of current knockdown and knockout approaches and advocate for the continued use of knockdown experiments in order to maintain progress in physiological research.
Summary: PKG, encoded by the polymorphic foraging gene, confers hypoxia tolerance at the expense of lifespan and healthy aging, indicating a novel role for PKG in aging and senescence.
Summary: Sex-specific changes in brain size over the breeding cycle in the three-spined stickleback may be the reason for varying estimates of sexual brain size dimorphism across studies of this species.
Increased apical sodium-dependent glucose transporter abundance in the ctenidium of the giant clam Tridacna squamosa upon illumination
Summary: The giant clam Tridacna squamosa expresses an apical sodium/glucose cotransporter 1 homolog in the ctenidium that could participate in light-enhanced glucose absorption.
Summary: The number and progression of introductory notes to song in the zebra finch are not affected by removal of sensory feedback.
Work loop dynamics of the pigeon (Columba livia) humerotriceps demonstrate potentially diverse roles for active wing morphing
Highlighted Article: In pigeons, natural variation in wingbeat frequency, and humerotriceps activation phase and duration, indicate functional plasticity that can effectively power different flight behaviors.
Pollen reverses decreased lifespan, altered nutritional metabolism and suppressed immunity in honey bees (Apis mellifera) treated with antibiotics
Highlighted Article: Bacteria in pollen confer the ability to inhibit virus replication, extend lifespan and improve overall health in honey bees treated with antibiotics.
Editors' Choice: Behavioral context alters kinematic and energetic scaling in animals with spring-powered movements. Variable spring compression likely underlies these context-specific changes, which have implications for theories of contest and feeding behavior.
Cutaneous respiration by diving beetles from underground aquifers of Western Australia (Coleoptera: Dytiscidae)
Highlighted Article: Subterranean diving beetles survive permanently under water using cutaneous respiration, making them independent of visits to the surface to collect air, but restricting them to a small size.
Summary: Blood flow rates determine artery sizes in mammals, independent of body mass.
Highlighted Article: In stick insect hindlegs, muscle activity is adjusted to different mechanical demands during walking, primarily early in stance. Adjustments strongly affect forces/torques but not kinematics and suggest step-by-step control.
Avian yolk androgens are metabolized rather than taken up by the embryo during the first days of incubation
Highlighted Article: Mass spectrometric analysis using stable isotope labelled androgens shows that maternal androgens in bird egg yolk are not taken up by the embryo during early incubation but rather are metabolized.
Elevated oxidative stress in pied flycatcher nestlings of eumelanic foster fathers under low rearing temperatures
Summary: The pied flycatcher demonstrates a temperature-dependent association between oxidative stress of offspring and variation in the melanin coloration of their foster father.
The quantity–quality trade-off: differential effects of daily food availability times on reproductive performance and offspring quality in diurnal zebra finches
Summary: Absence of food in the morning compromises reproductive fecundity but not quality of offspring, whereas food absence in the evening compromises quality (skeletal growth and overall size) of offspring but not reproductive fecundity in continuously breeding diurnal zebra finches.
Summary: 3D reconstructions of calcium release units in the avian heart combined with computer modelling reveal that close clustering of cSR along the Z-line is vital for rapid propagation of the Ca2+ signal, enabling strong, fast contractions of the avian heart.
Summary: Daphnia magna shows a genotype-by-temperature interaction in the allometric intercept of metabolic rate, but no genetic effects on the allometric slope.
Morph- and sex-specific effects of challenging conditions on maintenance parameters in the Gouldian finch
Highlighted Article: Gouldian finches exhibit physiological divergence between individuals of different morphs and between reproductive partners under energetically demanding conditions (heatwave, moult or reproduction).
Zonation of Ca2+ transport and enzyme activity in the caeca of rainbow trout – a simple structure with complex functions
Summary: A novel technique revealed region-specific ion transport properties within the caeca of rainbow trout. Feeding and environmental manipulation altered ion transport characteristics, which changes in enzyme activity supported.
Summary: Drosophila melanogaster larvae prefer a soft food substrate. They can learn the softness of agarose gel and evaluate foods by balancing softness and sweetness. Genetic background affects the larval preference for softness.
Summary: Distinct physiological strategies for coping with hypoxia exist across different high-altitude lineages of ducks.