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Large Sex Differences in Chicken Behavior and Brain Gene Expression Coincide with Few Differences in Promoter DNA-Methylation

Overview of attention for article published in PLoS ONE, April 2014
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Title
Large Sex Differences in Chicken Behavior and Brain Gene Expression Coincide with Few Differences in Promoter DNA-Methylation
Published in
PLoS ONE, April 2014
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0096376
Pubmed ID
Authors

Daniel Nätt, Beatrix Agnvall, Per Jensen

Abstract

While behavioral sex differences have repeatedly been reported across taxa, the underlying epigenetic mechanisms in the brain are mostly lacking. Birds have previously shown to have only limited dosage compensation, leading to high sex bias of Z-chromosome gene expression. In chickens, a male hyper-methylated region (MHM) on the Z-chromosome has been associated with a local type of dosage compensation, but a more detailed characterization of the avian methylome is limiting our interpretations. Here we report an analysis of genome wide sex differences in promoter DNA-methylation and gene expression in the brain of three weeks old chickens, and associated sex differences in behavior of Red Junglefowl (ancestor of domestic chickens). Combining DNA-methylation tiling arrays with gene expression microarrays we show that a specific locus of the MHM region, together with the promoter for the zinc finger RNA binding protein (ZFR) gene on chromosome 1, is strongly associated with sex dimorphism in gene expression. Except for this, we found few differences in promoter DNA-methylation, even though hundreds of genes were robustly differentially expressed across distantly related breeds. Several of the differentially expressed genes are known to affect behavior, and as suggested from their functional annotation, we found that female Red Junglefowl are more explorative and fearful in a range of tests performed throughout their lives. This paper identifies new sites and, with increased resolution, confirms known sites where DNA-methylation seems to affect sexually dimorphic gene expression, but the general lack of this association is noticeable and strengthens the view that birds do not have dosage compensation.

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Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 15 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United Kingdom 1 7%
United States 1 7%
Unknown 13 87%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Bachelor 4 27%
Researcher 4 27%
Student > Master 3 20%
Professor 1 7%
Student > Ph. D. Student 1 7%
Other 2 13%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 12 80%
Environmental Science 1 7%
Psychology 1 7%
Neuroscience 1 7%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 1. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 10 May 2014.
All research outputs
#2,988,451
of 3,732,880 outputs
Outputs from PLoS ONE
#51,855
of 65,861 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#75,783
of 95,194 outputs
Outputs of similar age from PLoS ONE
#2,597
of 3,023 outputs
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