Integrative and Comparative Biology (Integr Comp Biol )

Publisher: Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, Oxford University Press

Description

Integrative and Comparative Biology (ICB), formerly American Zoologist, is one of the most highly respected and cited journals in the field of biology. The journal's primary focus is to integrate the varying disciplines in this broad field, while maintaining the highest scientific quality. ICB's peer-reviewed symposia provide first class syntheses of the top research in a field, perfect for classes or a quick update. ICB also publishes book reviews, reports, and special bulletins.

  • Impact factor
    3.02
  • 5-year impact
    2.95
  • Cited half-life
    6.90
  • Immediacy index
    1.00
  • Eigenfactor
    0.01
  • Article influence
    1.10
  • Website
    Integrative and Comparative Biology website
  • Other titles
    Integrative and comparative biology (Online), Integrative and comparative biology
  • ISSN
    1557-7023
  • OCLC
    50649976
  • Material type
    Document, Periodical, Internet resource
  • Document type
    Internet Resource, Computer File, Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

Publisher details

Oxford University Press

  • Pre-print
    • Author can archive a pre-print version
  • Post-print
    • Author cannot archive a post-print version
  • Restrictions
    • 12 month embargo on science, technology, medicine articles
    • 24 month embargo on arts and humanities articles
    • Some titles may have different embargoes
  • Conditions
    • Pre-print can only be posted prior to acceptance
    • Pre-print must be accompanied by set statement (see link)
    • Pre-print must not be replaced with post-print, instead a link to published version with amended set statement should be made
    • Pre-print on personal website, employer website, free public server or pre-prints in subject area
    • Post-print on Institutional or Central repositories
    • Publisher version cannot be used except for Nucleic Acids Research articles
    • Published source must be acknowledged
    • Must link to publisher version
    • Set phrase to accompany archived copy (see policy)
    • Articles in some journals can be made Open Access on payment of additional charge
    • Eligible UK authors may deposit in OpenDepot
    • Publisher will deposit on behalf of NIH funded authors to PubMed Central, Nucleic Acids Research authors must pay their fee first
    • Some titles may use different policies
  • Classification
    ​ yellow

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The ability to regenerate extensive portions of the body is widespread among the phylum Annelida and this group includes some of the most highly regenerative animals known. Knowledge of the cellular and molecular basis of regeneration in this group is thus important for understanding how regenerative processes have evolved both within the group and across animal phyla. Here, the cellular basis of annelid regeneration is reviewed, with a focus on the earliest steps of regeneration, namely wound-healing and formation of the blastema. Information from a wide range of annelids is compiled in order to identify common and variable elements. There is a large body of valuable older literature on the cellular basis of regeneration in annelids and an effort is made to review this literature in addition to more recent studies. Annelids typically seal the wound through muscular contraction and undergo some autolysis of tissue at the site of the wound. Bodily injury elicits extensive cell migration toward the wound, involving several different types of cells. Some migrating cells form a tissue-clot and phagocytize damaged tissues, whereas others are inferred to contribute to regenerated tissue, specifically mesodermal tissue. In one annelid subgroup, the clitellates, a group of mesodermal cells, sometimes referred to as neoblasts, is inferred to migrate over considerable distances, with cells moving to the wound from several segments away. Epidermis and gut epithelia severed upon amputation typically heal by fusing with like tissue, although not always. After amputation, cellular contacts with the extracellular matrix are disrupted and major changes in cell morphology and adhesion occur within tissues near the wound. Interactions of tissues at the wound appear key for initiating a blastema, with a particularly important role suggested for the ventral nerve cord, although species are variable in this regard; longer-distance effects mediated by the brain are also reported. The anterior-posterior polarity of the blastema can be mis-assigned, leading most commonly to double-headed worms, and the dorsal-ventral polarity of the blastema appears to be induced by the ventral nerve cord. The blastema is thought to arise from contributions of all three tissue layers, with each layer replacing itself in a tissue-specific manner. Blastemal cells originate mostly locally, although some long-distance migration of source-cells is suggested in clitellates. A number of important questions remain about the cellular basis of regeneration in annelids and addressing many of these would be greatly aided by developing approaches to identify and isolate specific cell types and techniques to image and trace cells in vivo.
    Integrative and Comparative Biology 08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Stable-isotope analysis (SIA) has revolutionized animal ecology by providing time-integrated estimates of the use of resources and/or habitats. SIA is based on the premise that the isotopic composition of a consumer's tissues originates from its food, but is offset by trophic-discrimination (enrichment) factors controlled by metabolic processes associated with the assimilation of nutrients and the biosynthesis of tissues. Laboratory preparation protocols dictate that tissues both of consumers and of their potential prey be lipid-extracted prior to analysis, because (1) lipids have carbon isotope (δ(13)C) values that are lower by approximately 3-8‰ than associated proteins and (2) amino acids in consumers' proteinaceous tissues are assumed to be completely routed from dietary protein. In contrast, models of stable-isotope mixing assume that dietary macromolecules are broken into their elemental constituents from which non-essential amino acids are resynthesized to build tissues. Here, we show that carbon from non-protein dietary macromolecules, namely lipids, was used to synthesize muscle tissue in an omnivorous rodent (Mus musculus). We traced the influence of dietary lipids on the synthesis of consumers' tissues by inversely varying the dietary proportion of C4-based lipids and C3-based protein while keeping carbohydrate content constant in four dietary treatments, and analyzing the δ(13)C values of amino acids in mouse muscle after 4 months of feeding. The influence of dietary lipids on non-essential amino acids varied as function of biosynthetic pathway. The source of carbon in ketogenic amino acids synthesized through the Krebs cycle was highly sensitive to dietary lipid content, with significant increases of approximately 2-4‰ in Glutamate and Aspartate δ(13)C values from the 5% to 15% dietary lipid treatment. Glucogenic amino acids (Glycine and Serine) were less sensitive to dietary lipid, but increased by approximately 3-4‰ from the 25% to 40% lipid diet. As expected, the δ(13)C values of essential amino acids did not vary significantly among diets. Although lipids provide a calorie-rich resource that fuels energy requirements, our results show that they also can be an important elemental source of carbon that contributes to the non-essential amino acids used to build structural tissue like muscle. As such, the calculation of trophic-discrimination factors for animals that consume a lipid-rich diet should consider lipid carbon as a building block for proteinaceous tissues. Careful consideration of the macromolecular composition in the diet of the consumer of interest will help to further refine the use of SIA to study animal ecology and physiology.
    Integrative and Comparative Biology 08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Bubbles are ubiquitous in biological environments, emerging during the complex dynamics of waves breaking in the open oceans or being intentionally formed in bioreactors. From formation, through motion, until death, bubbles play a critical role in the oxygenation and mixing of natural and artificial ecosystems. However, their life is also greatly influenced by the environments in which they emerge. This interaction between bubbles and microorganisms is a subtle affair in which surface tension plays a critical role. Indeed, it shapes the role of bubbles in mixing or oxygenating microorganisms, but also determines how microorganisms affect every stage of the bubble's life. In this review, we guide the reader through the life of a bubble from birth to death, with particular attention to the microorganism-bubble interaction as viewed through the lens of fluid dynamics.
    Integrative and Comparative Biology 08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Modeling the flow of fluid in the lungs, even under baseline healthy conditions, presents many challenges. The complex rheology of the fluids, interaction between fluids and structures, and complicated multi-scale geometry all add to the complexity of the problem. We provide a brief overview of approaches used to model three aspects of pulmonary fluid and flow: the surfactant layer in the deep branches of the lung, the mucus layer in the upper airway branches, and closure/reopening of the airway. We discuss models of each aspect, the potential to capture biological and therapeutic information, and open questions worthy of further investigation. We hope to promote multi-disciplinary collaboration by providing insights into mathematical descriptions of fluid-mechanics in the lung and the kinds of predictions these models can make.
    Integrative and Comparative Biology 08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Protein and carbohydrates are important nutrients driving the growth of herbivores; however, their content in plants is highly variable. Multiple studies have explored their effect on herbivores, but only one other study (using a caterpillar) has provided a comprehensive overview that includes a simultaneous evaluation of their ratios and concentrations. In the present work, we ran two experiments using nymphs of the generalist grasshopper Melanoplus differentialis. Grasshoppers and caterpillars differ in a number of important ways, which might affect their feeding and physiological responses to foods with variable content of protein and carbohydrates. First, in a choice experiment, we measured performance and related this to the self-selected intake of nutrients. No differences were found for duration of development across treatments, but gain in mass was lower on a diet of low macronutrient concentration. Consumption of protein was always tightly regulated, but intake of carbohydrate was significantly reduced when consuming diluted food. In the second experiment, insects were constrained to one of nine diets and we plotted performance and consumption using a fitness-landscape approach that mimics the natural variation of nutrients in plants. We found significant effects of protein and carbohydrate content on gain in mass and in duration of development. The concentration of macronutrients in the food had more pronounced effects than did the protein-to-carbohydrate ratio. The protein-carbohydrate content also significantly affected the intake of food and energy (calories), production of frass, and digestive efficiency. On foods with low macronutrient concentration consumption was high, but digestive efficiency was low. Our results suggest that insects will favor protein-biased foods when the total macronutrient content of available foods is low, and that in the short-term compensatory feeding responses can overcome nutritional deficits and/or imbalances. However, over the long term, insect herbivores might pay substantial costs when eating foods that are nutritionally suboptimal.
    Integrative and Comparative Biology 07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The Division of Ecoimmunology and Disease Ecology (hereafter, DEDE) was founded in January 2014, and its bylaws approved in May of that year, to encourage the growth of research addressing the mechanistic aspects of host-parasite interactions. The purpose of DEDE is to facilitate communication, research, and data-sharing among scientists and promote mentoring and training of students and early career investigators, excellence of research, and the fundamentals of societal business. Here, we review briefly the history of the field, and the history of the discipline with SICB.
    Integrative and Comparative Biology 07/2014;
  • Integrative and Comparative Biology 07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The sea urchin larva is shaped by a calcite endoskeleton. That skeleton is built by 64 primary mesenchyme cells (PMCs) in Lytechinus variegatus. The PMCs originate as micromeres due to an unequal fourth cleavage in the embryo. Micromeres are specified in a well-described molecular sequence and enter the blastocoel at a precise time using a classic epithelial-mesenchymal transition. To make the skeleton, the PMCs receive signaling inputs from the overlying ectoderm, which provides positional information as well as control of the growth of initial skeletal tri-radiates. The patterning of the skeleton is the result both of autonomous inputs from PMCs, including production of proteins that are included in the skeletal matrix, and of non-autonomous dynamic information from the ectoderm. Here, we summarize the wealth of information known about how a PMC contributes to the skeletal structure. The larval skeleton is a model for understanding how information encoded in DNA is translated into a three-dimensional crystalline structure.
    Integrative and Comparative Biology 07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The gastropod Lymnaea has unique features, that is, chirality, sinistrality, or dextrality, is displayed externally as well as internally, and is hereditary, being determined by a single-locus that functions maternally at the very early embryonic stage. Both sinistral and dextral snails exist in nature with the dextral one being dominant. Thus, the genus Lymnaea is an ideal target for studying chiromorphogenesis. This article gives a brief overview of the current state of research on chiromorphogenesis of Lymnaea (L.) stagnalis, mainly focusing on our own studies. Breeding experiments were performed and embryonic development was closely observed for the both chiralities. By fluorescently labeling filamentous actin and microtubules, cytoskeletal dynamics of spiral cleavages for the sinistral and dextral embryos were shown not to be mirror images of each other at the critical third-cleavage. The spiral deformation and spindle inclination were uniquely observed only in the dominant dextral embryos, and they were shown to be strongly linked to the gene determining the direction of chirality. Based on these findings, we created fertile snails of situs inversus by micromanipulation at the third-cleavage. Surprisingly, the arrangement of the blastomere regulates asymmetric expression of nodal-Pitx genes in later development. The expression patterns display interesting similarity and dissimilarity with those of the vertebrates. Thus, study of L. stagnalis has given an insight into "how a single gene twists a snail."
    Integrative and Comparative Biology 07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: We studied the flow of the post-lens tear film under a soft contact lens to understand how the design parameters of contact lenses can affect ocular health. When a soft contact lens is inserted, the blinking eyelid causes the lens to stretch in order to conform to the shape of the eye. The deformed contact lens acts to assume its un-deformed shape and thus generates a suction pressure in the post-lens tear film. In consequence, the post-lens tear fluid moves; it responds to the suction pressure. The suction pressure may draw in fresh fluid from the edge of the lens, or it may eject fluid there, as the lens reassumes its un-deformed shape. In this article, we develop a mathematical model of the flow of the post-lens tear fluid in response to the mechanical suction pressure of a deformed contact lens. We predict the amount of exchange of fluid exchange under a contact lens and we explore the influence of the eye's shape on the rate of exchange of fluid.
    Integrative and Comparative Biology 06/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Diverse subfields of biology have addressed phenotypic plasticity, but have emphasized different aspects of the definition, thereby shaping the questions that are asked and the methodological approaches that are employed. A key difference between studies of plasticity in the fields of evolutionary biology and physiology is the degree of focus upon the contribution of genetic variance to plastic traits. Although evolutionary biology is generally focused on the heritability and adaptive value of plastic traits and therefore the potential for plasticity to impact changes in traits across generations, physiological studies have historically focused on the timing and reversibility of plastic change across seasons or ages and the mechanisms underlying traits' plasticity. In this review and the symposium from which it emerged, we aimed to highlight ways that integrative biologists can better communicate about their research and design better studies to address phenotypic plasticity. Evolutionary theory clarifies the need to assess fitness using reliable measures, such as survival and reproductive success, and to consider the heritability and genetic variance underlying plasticity. Reciprocally, physiological research demonstrates that understanding the mechanisms that permit, or limit, plasticity, whether through pleiotropic effects, developmental, or functional linkages between traits, or epigenetic modifications, will shed light on limitations to phenotypic plasticity. Uniting the fields of evolution and physiology to address all aspects of phenotypic plasticity will be increasingly important as the rate of anthropogenic environmental change increases and biologists must predict the responses of wild populations to novel environments, as well as determine the most effective conservation interventions.
    Integrative and Comparative Biology 06/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Torpor and reproduction in mammals and birds are widely viewed as mutually exclusive processes because of opposing energetic and hormonal demands. However, the reported number of heterothermic species that express torpor during reproduction is ever increasing, to some extent because of recent work on free-ranging animals. We summarize current knowledge about those heterothermic mammals that do not express torpor during reproduction and, in contrast, examine those heterothermic birds and mammals that do use torpor during reproduction. Incompatibility between torpor and reproduction occurs mainly in high-latitude sciurid and cricetid rodents, which live in strongly seasonal, but predictably productive habitats in summer. In contrast, torpor during incubation, brooding, pregnancy, or lactation occurs in nightjars, hummingbirds, echidnas, several marsupials, tenrecs, hedgehogs, bats, carnivores, mouse lemurs, and dormice. Animals that enter torpor during reproduction often are found in unpredictable habitats, in which seasonal availability of food can be cut short by changes in weather, or are species that reproduce fully or partially during winter. Moreover, animals that use torpor during the reproductive period have relatively low reproductive costs, are largely insectivorous, carnivorous, or nectarivorous, and thus rely on food that can be unpredictable or strongly seasonal. These species with relatively unpredictable food supplies must gain an advantage by using torpor during reproduction because the main cost is an extension of the reproductive period; the benefit is increased survival of parent and offspring, and thus fitness.
    Integrative and Comparative Biology 06/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Adaptive developmental plasticity allows individuals experiencing poor environmental conditions in early life to adjust their life-history strategy in order to prioritize short-term fitness benefits and maximize reproductive output in challenging environments. Much research has been conducted to test whether such adoption of a "faster" life-history strategy is accompanied by concordant changes in behavior and physiology, with mixed results. As research in this field has focused on comparison of mean-level responses of treatment groups, few studies include repeated measures of response variables and the effect that developmental stress may have on repeatability per se. We investigated how early-developmental stress affects the mean expression of (and repeatability in) a variety of behavioral and physiological traits in female zebra finches. We predicted that: (1) individuals subjected to nutritional restriction in the nestling phase would have higher feeding and activity rates, with associated increases in hematocrit and basal metabolic rates (BMRs), (2) nutritional restriction in early life would alter adults' stress-induced corticosterone level, and (3) developmental stress would, respectively, influence the amount of among-individual and within-individual variation in behavioral and physiological traits, hence affecting the repeatability of these traits. In comparison to control females, stressed females did not differ in activity rate or stress-induced corticosterone level, but they did have higher levels of feeding, hematocrit, and BMR. Among-individual variance and repeatability were generally higher in stressed females than in controls. Finally, we found that developmental dietary restriction significantly reduced the amount of within-individual variance both in activity rate in the novel environment and in stress-induced corticosterone level. Our results not only confirm previous findings on the effect of early-developmental stress on BMR, but also extend its effect to feeding rate and hematocrit, suggesting that developmental plasticity in these traits is ontogenetically linked. Early-developmental stress may disable particular genetic canalizing processes, which would release cryptic genetic variation and explain why repeatability and among-individual variance were generally higher in the stressed groups than in controls. For activity rate in the novel environment and with stress-induced corticosterone level, however, early-developmental stress significantly reduced within-individual variance, which may be a consequence of increased canalization of these traits at the micro-environmental level.
    Integrative and Comparative Biology 06/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: When a bubble oscillates in an acoustically driven pressure field, its oscillations result in an attractive force on micro-sized objects in the near field. At the same time, the objects are subject to a viscous drag force due to the streaming flow that is generated by the oscillating bubble. Based on these secondary effects, oscillating bubbles have recently been implemented in biological applications to control and manipulate micron-sized objects. These objects include live microorganisms, such as Caenorhabditis elegans and Daphnia (water flea), as well as cells and vesicles. Oscillating bubbles are also used in delivering drugs or genes inside human blood vessels. In this review paper, we explain the underlying physical mechanism behind oscillating bubbles and discuss some of their key applications in biology, with the focus on the manipulation of microorganisms and cells.
    Integrative and Comparative Biology 06/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Sexual-selection theory posits that ornaments and displays can reflect a signaler's condition, which in turn is affected both by recent and developmental conditions. Moreover, developmental conditions can induce correlations between sexually selected and other traits if both types of traits exhibit developmental phenotypic plasticity in response to stressors. Thus, sexually selected traits may reflect recent and/or developmental characteristics of signalers. Here, we review data on the relationships between birdsong, a sexually selected trait, and developmental and current condition of birds from a long-term study of a population of song sparrows (Melospiza melodia). Field studies of free-living birds indicate that the complexity of a male's songs, a permanent trait, reflects the size of a song-control region of his brain (HVC), and is correlated with body size and several parameters of immunity, specifically investment in protective proteins. However, the performance of a male's songs, a dynamic trait, is not correlated to immune investment. Complexity of song is correlated with the glucocorticoid stress-response, and in some years response to stress predicts overwinter survival. Experimental manipulations have revealed that stressors in early life impair development of HVC, but that HVC recovers in size by adulthood. These manipulations result in impaired song-complexity and song-learning, but not song-performance. Experimental developmental stressors also affect growth, endocrine physiology, metabolism, and immune-function, often in a sex-specific manner. Combined, these studies suggest that song-complexity provides reliable information about early developmental experience, and about other traits that have critical developmental periods. Birdsong thus provides a multi-faceted sexually selected trait that may be an indicator both of developmental and recent conditions.
    Integrative and Comparative Biology 06/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: A rapidly advancing area of ecological immunology concerns the effects of diet on animals' immunological responses to parasites and pathogens. Here, we focus on diet-mediated ecological immunology in herbivorous insects, in part because these organisms commonly experience nutritional limitations from their diets of plants. Nutritional immunology highlights nutrient-based trade-offs between immunological and other physiological processes as well as trade-offs among distinct immunological processes. This field reveals that nutrition influences the quality and quantity of immunological defense in herbivorous insects, and conversely that nutritional intake by herbivorous insects can be an adaptive response to the specific types of immune-challenge they face in the context of other physiological processes. Because the diets of herbivores challenge them physiologically with plants' secondary metabolites, another area of study analyzes constraints on immunological defense imposed by secondary metabolites of plants in the diets of herbivorous insects. Alternatively, some herbivores can use secondary metabolites as medicine against parasites or pathogens. Animal-medication theory makes an important contribution to ecological immunology by distinguishing prophylactic and therapeutic mechanisms of anti-parasite defense. Integrating ideas from animal-medication and nutritional immunology, we outline a conceptual framework in which the immunological role of the diet consists of mechanisms of prophylaxis, therapy, compensation, and combinations thereof. Then, we use this framework to organize findings from our own research on diet-mediated ecological immunology of woolly bear caterpillars. We show evidence that the woolly bear caterpillar, Grammia incorrupta (Hy. Edwards) (Lepidoptera, Erebidae, and Arctiinae), can employ both diet-mediated prophylaxis and therapy. First, increased consumption of carbohydrate-biased food prior to immune-challenge increased its melanization-response. Second, increased consumption of pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) more than 24 h after parasitism by tachinid flies resulted in anti-parasite resistance. Caterpillars reduced feeding on protein-biased food within 24 h after immune-challenge, showing evidence of illness-induced anorexia. We synthesize our work to generate the hypothesis that a diet-mediated defense by the host against parasites acts as a temporally explicit, multi-stage process.
    Integrative and Comparative Biology 06/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: This collection of articles is focused on the evolutionary dynamics of heterothermy in mammals, specifically torpor and hibernation. Topics cover a wide range from evolutionary genetics, physiology, ecology, and applications to human health.
    Integrative and Comparative Biology 06/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: PIWI proteins are well known for their roles in the animal germline. They are essential for germline development and maintenance, and together with their binding partners, the piRNAs, they mediate transposon silencing. More recently, PIWI proteins have also been identified in somatic stem cells in diverse animals. The expression of PIWI proteins in these cells could be related to the ability of such cells to contribute to the germline. However, evaluation of stem cell systems across many different animal phyla suggests that PIWI proteins have an ancestral role in somatic stem cells, irrespective of their contribution to the germ cell lineage. Moreover, the data currently available reveal a possible correlation between the differentiation potential of a cell and its PIWI levels.
    Integrative and Comparative Biology 06/2014;

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