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Current Biology: CB | Page 2

Román A Corfas, Tarun Sharma, Michael H Dickinson
Foraging animals may benefit from remembering the location of a newly discovered food patch while continuing to explore nearby [1, 2]. For example, after encountering a drop of yeast or sugar, hungry flies often perform a local search [3, 4]. That is, rather than remaining on the food or simply walking away, flies execute a series of exploratory excursions during which they repeatedly depart and return to the resource. Fruit flies, Drosophila melanogaster, can perform this food-centered search behavior in the absence of external landmarks, instead relying on internal (idiothetic) cues [5]...
April 25, 2019: Current Biology: CB
Chao Cai, Nadia A Lanman, Kelley A Withers, Alyssa M DeLeon, Qiong Wu, Michael Gribskov, David E Salt, Jo Ann Banks
Arsenic is a carcinogenic contaminant of water and food and a growing threat to human health in many regions of the world. This study focuses on the fern Pteris vittata (Pteridaceae), which is extraordinary in its ability to tolerate and hyperaccumulate very high levels of arsenic that would kill any other plant or animal outside the Pteridaceae. Here, we use RNA-seq to identify three genes (GLYCERALDEHYDE 3-PHOSPHATE DEHYDROGENASE (PvGAPC1), ORGANIC CATION TRANSPORTER 4 (PvOCT4), and GLUTATHIONE S-TRANSFERASE (PvGSTF1) that are highly upregulated by arsenic and are necessary for arsenic tolerance, as demonstrated by RNAi...
April 24, 2019: Current Biology: CB
Yifat Eliezer, Noa Deshe, Lihi Hoch, Shachar Iwanir, Christian O Pritz, Alon Zaslaver
Organisms' capacity to anticipate future conditions is key for survival. Associative memories are instrumental for learning from past experiences, yet little is known about the processes that follow memory retrieval and their potential advantage in preparing for impending developments. Here, using C. elegans nematodes, we demonstrate that odor-evoked retrieval of aversive memories induces rapid and protective stress responses, which increase animal survival prospects when facing imminent adversities. The underlying mechanism relies on two sensory neurons: one is necessary during the learning period, and the other is necessary and sufficient for memory retrieval...
April 22, 2019: Current Biology: CB
Ethan G McBride, Su-Yee J Lee, Edward M Callaway
Sensory selection and movement locally and globally modulate neural responses in seemingly similar ways. For example, locomotion enhances visual responses in mouse primary visual cortex (V1), resembling the effects of spatial attention on primate visual cortical activity. However, interactions between these local and global mechanisms and the resulting effects on perceptual behavior remain largely unknown. Here, we describe a novel mouse visual spatial selection task in which animals either monitor one of two locations for a contrast change ("selective mice") or monitor both ("non-selective mice") and can run at will...
April 22, 2019: Current Biology: CB
Tim N Enke, Manoshi S Datta, Julia Schwartzman, Nathan Cermak, Désirée Schmitz, Julien Barrere, Alberto Pascual-García, Otto X Cordero
Understanding the principles that govern the assembly of microbial communities across earth's biomes is a major challenge in modern microbial ecology. This pursuit is complicated by the difficulties of mapping functional roles and interactions onto communities with immense taxonomic diversity and of identifying the scale at which microbes interact [1]. To address this challenge, here, we focused on the bacterial communities that colonize and degrade particulate organic matter in the ocean [2-4]. We show that the assembly of these communities can be simplified as a linear combination of functional modules...
April 22, 2019: Current Biology: CB
Patrick J Lariviere, Christopher R Mahone, Gustavo Santiago-Collazo, Matthew Howell, Allison K Daitch, Rilee Zeinert, Peter Chien, Pamela J B Brown, Erin D Goley
Bacterial growth and division require insertion of new peptidoglycan (PG) into the existing cell wall by PG synthase enzymes. Emerging evidence suggests that many PG synthases require activation to function; however, it is unclear how activation of division-specific PG synthases occurs. The FtsZ cytoskeleton has been implicated as a regulator of PG synthesis during division, but the mechanisms through which it acts are unknown. Here, we show that FzlA, an FtsZ-binding protein and essential regulator of constriction in Caulobacter crescentus, helps link FtsZ to PG synthesis to promote division...
April 22, 2019: Current Biology: CB
Stefano Zucca, Valentina Pasquale, Pedro Lagomarsino de Leon Roig, Stefano Panzeri, Tommaso Fellin
Up and down states are among the most prominent features of the thalamo-cortical system during non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep and many forms of anesthesia. Cortical interneurons, including parvalbumin (PV) cells, display firing activity during cortical down states, and this GABAergic signaling is associated with prolonged down-state durations. However, what drives PV interneurons to fire during down states remains unclear. We here tested the hypothesis that background thalamic activity may lead to suprathreshold activation of PV cells during down states...
April 19, 2019: Current Biology: CB
Arturo D'Angelo, Kai Dierkes, Carlo Carolis, Guillaume Salbreux, Jérôme Solon
During development, cell-generated forces induce tissue-scale deformations to shape the organism [1,2]. The pattern and extent of these deformations depend not solely on the temporal and spatial profile of the generated force fields but also on the mechanical properties of the tissues that the forces act on. It is thus conceivable that, much like the cell-generated forces, the mechanical properties of tissues are modulated during development in order to drive morphogenesis toward specific developmental endpoints...
April 19, 2019: Current Biology: CB
Scott Hayes, Chrysoula K Pantazopoulou, Kasper van Gelderen, Emilie Reinen, Adrian Louis Tween, Ashutosh Sharma, Michel de Vries, Salomé Prat, Robert C Schuurink, Christa Testerink, Ronald Pierik
Global food production is set to keep increasing despite a predicted decrease in total arable land [1]. To achieve higher production, denser planting will be required on increasingly degraded soils. When grown in dense stands, crops elongate and raise their leaves in an effort to reach sunlight, a process termed shade avoidance [2]. Shade is perceived by a reduction in the ratio of red (R) to far-red (FR) light and results in the stabilization of a class of transcription factors known as PHYTOCHROME INTERACTING FACTORS (PIFs) [3, 4]...
April 18, 2019: Current Biology: CB
Matthias Meier, Alexander Borst
A neuron is conventionally regarded as a single processing unit. It receives input from one or several presynaptic cells, transforms these signals, and transmits one output signal to its postsynaptic partners. Exceptions exist: amacrine cells in the mammalian retina [1-3] or interneurons in the locust mesothoracic ganglion [4] are thought to represent many electrically isolated microcircuits within one neuron. An extreme case of such an amacrine cell has recently been described in the Drosophila visual system...
April 18, 2019: Current Biology: CB
Joseph M Santin, David J Schulz
The number and type of ion channels present in the membrane determines the electrophysiological function of every neuron. In many species, stereotyped output of neurons often persists for years [1], and ion channel dysregulation can change these properties to cause severe neurological disorders [2-4]. Thus, a fundamental question is how do neurons coordinate channel expression to uphold their firing patterns over long timescales [1, 5]? One major hypothesis purports that neurons homeostatically regulate their ongoing activity through mechanisms that link membrane voltage to expression relationships among ion channels [6-10]...
April 17, 2019: Current Biology: CB
Frédéric Michon, Jyh-Jang Sun, Chae Young Kim, Davide Ciliberti, Fabian Kloosterman
Offline replay of hippocampal neural patterns supports the acquisition of new tasks in novel contexts, but its contribution to consolidation of salient experiences in a familiar context is unknown. Here, we show that in a highly familiar spatial memory task, large rewards selectively enhanced performance for demanding task configurations. The reward-related enhancement was sensitive to ripple-specific disruption, and the proportion of replay events positively correlated with reward size and task demands. Hippocampal replay thus selectively enhances memory of highly rewarded locations in a familiar context...
April 13, 2019: Current Biology: CB
Samuel D McDougle, Peter A Butcher, Darius E Parvin, Fasial Mushtaq, Yael Niv, Richard B Ivry, Jordan A Taylor
Decisions must be implemented through actions, and actions are prone to error. As such, when an expected outcome is not obtained, an individual should be sensitive to not only whether the choice itself was suboptimal but also whether the action required to indicate that choice was executed successfully. The intelligent assignment of credit to action execution versus action selection has clear ecological utility for the learner. To explore this, we used a modified version of a classic reinforcement learning task in which feedback indicated whether negative prediction errors were, or were not, associated with execution errors...
April 12, 2019: Current Biology: CB
Adam P Morris, Bart Krekelberg
Humans and other primates rely on eye movements to explore visual scenes and to track moving objects. As a result, the image that is projected onto the retina-and propagated throughout the visual cortical hierarchy-is almost constantly changing and makes little sense without taking into account the momentary direction of gaze. How is this achieved in the visual system? Here, we show that in primary visual cortex (V1), the earliest stage of cortical vision, neural representations carry an embedded "eye tracker" that signals the direction of gaze associated with each image...
April 12, 2019: Current Biology: CB
Yanfang Zuo, Mathew E Diamond
Recent work demonstrated that when a rat palpates a surface to identify its texture, signals generated by whisker kinematics are integrated by the brain, one touch at a time, until the accumulated evidence supports a well-grounded choice. The framework of decision making through bounded integration, previously attributed to primates, thus extends to rodents. In the present study, we ask whether vibrissal somatosensory cortex (vS1 and vS2) functions as the integrator of incoming evidence or, alternatively, as a relay of evidence to a downstream integrator...
April 12, 2019: Current Biology: CB
Yanfang Zuo, Mathew E Diamond
Behaviors in which primates collect externally generated streams of sensory evidence, such as judgment of random dot motion direction, are explained by a bounded integration decision model. Does this model extend to rodents, and does it account for behavior in which the motor system generates evidence through interactions with the environment? In this study, rats palpated surfaces to identify the texture before them, showing marked trial-to-trial variability in the number of touches prior to expressing their choice...
April 12, 2019: Current Biology: CB
Luis J García-Rodríguez, Taciana Kasciukovic, Viola Denninger, Tomoyuki U Tanaka
For proper chromosome segregation in mitosis, sister kinetochores must interact with microtubules from opposite spindle poles (chromosome bi-orientation) [1, 2]. To promote bi-orientation, Aurora B kinase disrupts aberrant kinetochore-microtubule interactions [3-6]. It has long been debated how Aurora B halts this action when bi-orientation is established and tension is applied across sister kinetochores. A popular explanation for it is that, upon bi-orientation, sister kinetochores are pulled in opposite directions, stretching the outer kinetochores [7, 8] and moving Aurora B substrates away from Aurora-B-localizing sites at centromeres (spatial separation model) [3, 5, 9]...
April 12, 2019: Current Biology: CB
Wei-Kang Yang, Yi-Ru Chueh, Ying-Ju Cheng, Dominique Siegenthaler, Jan Pielage, Cheng-Ting Chien
Building sensory dendritic arbors requires branching, growth, spacing, and substrate support. The conserved L1CAM family of cell-adhesion molecules generates neuronal isoforms to regulate neurite development in various aspects. However, whether non-neuronal isoforms participate in any of these aspects is unclear. In Drosophila, the L1CAM homolog Neuroglian (Nrg) is expressed as two isoforms: the neuronal isoform Nrg180 on dendritic surfaces of dendritic arborization (da) neurons and the non-neuronal isoform Nrg167 in epidermis innervated by dendrites...
April 12, 2019: Current Biology: CB
Renato A Morais, David R Bellwood
Coral reefs harbor high productivity in nutrient-poor tropical oceans. This exceptional productivity can be explained by high recycling rates [1, 2], deep-water nutrient enrichment [3], and assimilation of external production [4]. Fishes consume this productivity through multiple trophic pathways and, as a result, dominate consumer biomass. Their reliance on pelagic versus benthic productivity pathways has been quantified from the tissues of individual fish [5, 6], but the contribution of different energetic pathways to the total productivity of coral reef fish assemblages remains unquantified...
April 11, 2019: Current Biology: CB
Yonggang Nie, Fuwen Wei, Wenliang Zhou, Yibo Hu, Alistair M Senior, Qi Wu, Li Yan, David Raubenheimer
Giant pandas are unusual in belonging to a primarily carnivorous clade and yet being extremely specialized herbivores that feed almost exclusively on highly fibrous bamboo [1]. Paradoxically, they appear inconsistently adapted to their plant diet, bearing a mix of herbivore and carnivore traits. Herbivore traits include a skull, jaw musculature, and dentition that are adapted for fibrous diets and a specialized "pseudo-thumb" used for handling bamboo [2, 3]. They have lost functional versions of the T1R1 gene codes for umami taste receptors, which are often associated with meat eating [3]...
April 10, 2019: Current Biology: CB
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