The neotropics are home to rich biodiversity but are threatened with rapid deforestation. Evidence is emerging that some species of birds are limited in their dispersal ability, thus restricting their ability to access suitable habitat in a patchy environment. I obtained 8 of the study species from the Moore et al. 2008 study which experimentally demonstrated flight limitations in common species of Panamanian birds. Myosin heavy chain isoforms from the heart and pectoralis were examined in both good and poor flying species, however no notable patterns emerged. Average myoglobin concentrations of the heart and pectoralis were also compared among good and poor flying species, and it appears that there is a significant positive relationship between average flight distance and myoglobin concentration in the pectoralis. In addition, samples from domestic chicken (Gallus gallus) were analyzed using proteomics in order to identify the myosin heavy chain isoforms present in the avian pectoralis. These findings suggest that chickens express 4 isoforms in the pectoralis, including fast type 2a, 2x, embryonic, and slow-twitch isoforms. Notably, the detection of MyHC 2x in avian muscle tissue and of slow-twitch isoforms in the main body of the chicken pectoralis are both novel discoveries. Further investigation is needed to conclusively determine the MyHC isoforms present in the chicken pectoralis and their order of migration in order to better understand the flight muscle physiology of birds and their flight limitations.
|Commitee:||Pace, Douglas, Stankowich, Theodore|
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 55/03M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Avian, Flight, Myhc, Myoglobin, Myosin heavy chain, Pectoralis|
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