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Transcriptomic profiling shows brain gene expression associated with learning in the fire-bellied toad, Bombina orientalis.

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dc.contributor.advisor Laberge, Frederic
dc.contributor.advisor Heyland, Andreas Lewis, Vern 2021-01-14T22:01:27Z 2021-01-14T22:01:27Z 2021 2020-12-22 2020-01-14
dc.description.abstract A key goal in modern neurobiology is to understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying learning and memory. To that end, it is essential to identify the patterns of gene expression and the temporal sequence of molecular events associated with learning and memory processes. Further, in order to advance our knowledge of the evolution of processes that mediate behaviour, we need to understand how these molecular and cellular events vary between organisms. In vertebrates, the acquisition and extinction of a learned response is characterized by distinct phases of molecular activity involving gene transcription, protein synthesis, structural change, and long-term maintenance of such structural change in the nervous system. The fire-bellied toad, Bombina orientalis, is a basal anuran whose neural architecture and molecular pathways may help us describe shared and divergent characteristics of learning and memory mechanisms between amphibians and mammals, and thus help answer questions about the evolution of learning in vertebrates. Utilizing next generation sequencing techniques, I profiled gene expression patterns in the brain of the fire-bellied toad after the acquisition and extinction of prey-catching conditioning, following either short or long training. This allowed me to describe the time-course of learning-related gene expression as well as compare transcriptomic profiles associated with acquisition learning, extinction learning, and resistance to extinction. Differential gene expression following acquisition and extinction training revealed activity in molecular pathways related to neural plasticity (e.g. immediate early genes activity, cytoskeletal modification, axonogenesis, apoptotic processes, mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK)/GTPase signaling pathways). Further, mechanisms unique to extinction learning and resistance to extinction were found in inhibitory signaling pathways (e.g. chromatin mediated transcriptional suppression, inhibitory neurotransmission, suppression of molecular signaling cascades). While some of these gene expression patterns are similar to those found in mammals submitted to conditioning, many interesting divergent profiles were seen, highlighting potential differences in the mechanisms of learning and memory among tetrapods. Ultimately, this approach has allowed us to describe not only gene expression associated with learning, but also a core set of putative learning related genes in B. orientalis which supports the hypothesis of a general conservation of learning mechanisms between anuran amphibian and mammals. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship This project was supported by separate Discovery grants (400230 and 401393) from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) to FL and AH, and by the Department of Integrated Biology Ph.D. Award to VL. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher University of Guelph en_US
dc.rights Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International *
dc.rights.uri *
dc.subject transcriptome en_US
dc.subject learning and memory en_US
dc.subject RNA sequencing en_US
dc.subject Bombina orientalis en_US
dc.subject neuronal plasticity en_US
dc.subject immediate-early genes en_US
dc.subject extinction learning en_US
dc.subject extinction resistance en_US
dc.title Transcriptomic profiling shows brain gene expression associated with learning in the fire-bellied toad, Bombina orientalis. en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US Integrative Biology en_US Doctor of Philosophy en_US Department of Integrative Biology en_US
dcterms.relation Lewis, V., Laberge, F., & Heyland, A. (2020). Temporal Profile of Brain Gene Expression After Prey Catching Conditioning in an Anuran Amphibian. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 13, 1407. en_US University of Guelph en_US

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