Exploring stress biomarkers in an avian model
LE3 .A278 2017
Bachelor of Science
Biomarkers are measurable biological molecules that can be used as indicators of stress in animals. Presently, there is little understanding of stress biomarkers in birds. The objective of this study is to identify changes in unique proteins in an avian model to further our understanding of the stress response in Aves. The models chosen in this study were the Herring Gull (Larus argentatus) and Great Black-Backed Gull (L. marinus). Specimens were obtained from the St. John’s International Airport, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. Samples of liver tissue were ground in a mortar and pestle under sterile conditions to extract soluble proteins. Protein concentrations were normalized and 1D SDS-PAGE followed by a modified silver staining method were used to identify individual protein profiles. Gels were imaged and digitized using a Fluor-STM Multi-imager. Protein spots were excised from the gels and further analyzed using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry/mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Preliminary MS data indicates the presence of known stress proteins, including heat shock-70, heat shock-90, anti-oxidants such as superoxide dismutase and, pyridoxine phosphate oxidase (an essential enzyme in vitamin B6 metabolism). These proteins will be quantified by immunoblotting and used as targets to identify the effects of environmental stressors on the gulls. As our knowledge of stress in Aves is limited, these data will contribute to the broader understanding of stress in Aves.
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