skip to main content

Search for: All records

Creators/Authors contains: "Benson, Abigail"

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. Cases of tick-borne diseases have been steadily increasing in the USA, owing in part to tick range expansion, land cover and associated host population changes, and habitat fragmentation. However, the relative importance of these and other potential drivers remain poorly understood within this complex disease system. Ticks are ectotherms with multi-host lifecycles, which makes them sensitive to changes in the physical environment and the ecological community. Here, we describe data collected by the National Ecological Observatory Network on tick abundance, diversity and pathogen infection. Ticks are collected using drag or flag methods multiple times in a growing season at 46 terrestrial sites across the USA. Ticks are identified and enumerated by a professional taxonomist, and a subset of nymphs are PCR-tested for various tick-borne pathogens. These data will enable multiscale analyses to better understand how drivers of tick dynamics and pathogen prevalence may shift with climate or land-use change.
  2. For over a century the nervous system of decapod crustaceans has been a workhorse for the neurobiology community. Many fundamental discoveries including the identification of electrical and inhibitory synapses, lateral and pre-synaptic inhibition, and the Na + /K + -pump were made using lobsters, crabs, or crayfish. Key among many advantages of crustaceans for neurobiological research is the unique access to large, accessible, and identifiable neurons, and the many distinct and complex behaviors that can be observed in lab settings. Despite these advantages, recent decades have seen work on crustaceans hindered by the lack of molecular and genetic tools required for unveiling the cellular processes contributing to neurophysiology and behavior. In this perspective paper, we argue that the recently sequenced marbled crayfish, Procambarus virginalis , is suited to become a genetic model system for crustacean neuroscience. P. virginalis are parthenogenetic and produce genetically identical offspring, suggesting that germline transformation creates transgenic animal strains that are easy to maintain across generations. Like other decapod crustaceans, marbled crayfish possess large neurons in well-studied circuits such as the giant tail flip neurons and central pattern generating neurons in the stomatogastric ganglion. We provide initial data demonstrating that marbled crayfish neurons are accessible throughmore »standard physiological and molecular techniques, including single-cell electrophysiology, gene expression measurements, and RNA-interference. We discuss progress in CRISPR-mediated manipulations of the germline to knock-out target genes using the ‘Receptor-mediated ovary transduction of cargo’ (ReMOT) method. Finally, we consider the impact these approaches will have for neurophysiology research in decapod crustaceans and more broadly across invertebrates.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 6, 2023