Behaviour Meets Biochemistry: Animals Making Sense of Molecules Making Scents

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
+ show speakers and program
Tuesday 18 February 2014
Benoist Schaal (University of Burgundy, France)
Carla Mucignat (University of Padova, Italy)
Darren Logan (Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, United Kingdom)
Enrique Lanuza (Universitat de València, Spain)
Kazoushige Touhara (University of Tokyo, Japan)
Lisa Stowers (The Scripps Research Institute, U.S.A.)
Marie Phelan (University of Liverpool, United Kingdom)
Robert Karn (University of Arizona, U.S.A)
Sarah Roberts (University of Liverpool, United Kingdom)
Tristram Wyatt (University of Oxford, United Kingdom)

18 Feb - 20 Feb 2014
United Kingdom
meeting website