Genomic and Neuro Endocrinology

Genome technologies are changing all areas of biology, including the study of hormones, brain and behaviour. Annotated reference genome assembly are rapidly being shaped for many avian species. Here we temporarily review the basic concepts and tools used in genomics. We then consider how these are notifying the study of avian behavioural neuroendocrinology, focusing in particular on lessons from the study of songbirds.  We discuss the impact of having a complete "parts list" for an creature; the transformational potential of studying large sets of genes at once instead one gene at a time; the growing recognition that environmental and behavioural signals trigger gigantic shifts in gene expression in the brain; and the prospects for using comparative genomics to uncover the genetic roots of behavioural variation.

 

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