A joint Biochemical Society / Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour Focused Meeting
There has been a persistent awareness of the role of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) in control of individuality signalling and mate compatibility assessment, research over the past few years has revealed that there are other highly polymorphic gene clusters in the mammalian genome, encoding proteins that mediate chemical communication between individuals, either as pheromone binding proteins or as semiochemicals in their own right. This meeting will bring together experts in protein chemistry and evolution with behavioural ecologists, and will emphasise thebiochemistry/behaviour axis.
Such a meeting is timely, because there has been and increasingly detailed understanding of these gene clusters, their products and the manifestation of chemical signals, through to the neurological circuits that connect pheromone chemistry to complex behavioural outputs.
- Genome plasticity and evolution of multigene clusters
- Genotype-phenotype relationships and sex dependent expression
- Structure:function relationships in MUPs
- Relationship between multigene clusters and MHC
- Role of protein profiles and individual proteins
- Influence of MUPs on mate choice, maintenance of heterozygosity, aggression signalling
- Role of MUPs in maintenance of species barriers
- Limitations and strengths of inbred versus wild rodents
- Multigene/communication proteins in species other than rats and mice
- Neurobiology of protein pheromones, VNO and MO
Proceedings have been published in Biochemical Society Transactions.
The winner of the Biochemical Society poster prize was:
Victoria Lee, University of Liverpool, UK - The urinary proteins of Mus spicilegus
The winner of the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour Poster prize was: