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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2023
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 28, 2023
  3. Abstract Humpback whales ( Megaptera novaeangliae ) are a cosmopolitan species and perform long annual migrations between low-latitude breeding areas and high-latitude feeding areas. Their breeding populations appear to be spatially and genetically segregated due to long-term, maternally inherited fidelity to natal breeding areas. In the Southern Hemisphere, some humpback whale breeding populations mix in Southern Ocean waters in summer, but very little movement between Pacific and Atlantic waters has been identified to date, suggesting these waters constituted an oceanic boundary between genetically distinct populations. Here, we present new evidence of summer co-occurrence in the West Antarctic Peninsula feeding areamore »of two recovering humpback whale breeding populations from the Atlantic (Brazil) and Pacific (Central and South America). As humpback whale populations recover, observations like this point to the need to revise our perceptions of boundaries between stocks, particularly on high latitude feeding grounds. We suggest that this “Southern Ocean Exchange” may become more frequent as populations recover from commercial whaling and climate change modifies environmental dynamics and humpback whale prey availability.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2022
  4. Two PIEZO mechanosensitive cation channels, PIEZO1 and PIEZO2, have been identified in mammals, where they are involved in numerous sensory processes. While structurally similar, PIEZO channels are expressed in distinct tissues and exhibit unique properties. How different PIEZOs transduce force, how their transduction mechanism varies, and how their unique properties match the functional needs of the distinct tissues where they are expressed remain all-important unanswered questions. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has a single PIEZO ortholog (pezo-1) predicted to have twelve isoforms. These isoforms share many transmembrane domains, but differ in those that distinguish PIEZO1 and PIEZO2 in mammals. Here wemore »use translational and transcriptional reporters to show that long pezo-1 isoforms are selectively expressed in mesodermally derived tissues (such as muscle and glands). In contrast, shorter pezo-1 isoforms are primarily expressed in neurons. In the digestive system, different pezo-1 isoforms appear to be expressed in different cells of the same organ. We show that pharyngeal muscles, glands, and valve rely on long pezo-1 isoforms to respond appropriately to the presence of food. The unique pattern of complementary expression of pezo-1 isoforms suggest that different isoforms possess distinct functions. The number of pezo-1 isoforms in C. elegans, their differential pattern of expression, and their roles in experimentally tractable processes make this an attractive system to investigate the molecular basis for functional differences between members of the PIEZO family of mechanoreceptors.« less