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Research Abstracts Online
January 2009 - March 2010

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University of Minnesota Twin Cities
College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences
Department of Animal Science

PI: Mohamed E. El Halawani

Molecular Basis of Photorefractoriness in Turkeys

These researchers are validating a chicken Oligo microarray for turkeys and will use it to identify key molecular events involved in the perception of long daylengths and their transduction into neuroendocrine output that stimulates reproduction. Microarrays will be compared in turkeys of contrasting physiological states: non-photostimulated hens; photostimulated hens at critical time-points after photo-induced sexual development; photorefractory hens under long daylengths; and photorefractory hens at critical time-points after exposure to short daylengths (which reverses PR). Specific brain areas implicated in the neurobiology of PR include: brainstem nuclei generating monoaminergic tone to the forebrain (e.g., locus coeruleus); a biological timing area known to contain clock genes and photosensitive pigments (premammillary nucleus); and output areas involved in neuroendocrine signaling to the pars distalis (e.g., nucleus of the pallial commissure, infundibular nucleus, pars tuberalis). Signal transduction genes are a primary focus. Functional experiments will test hypotheses generated by array data that differential gene expression underlies specific physiological states.

Group Member

Sunantha Kosonsiriluk, Research Associate