Genetic and stress effects on the genoarchitecture and transcriptomics of the central extended amygdala
Project Description: Stress is essential for survival, but too much stress is harmful for both humans and animals. Chronic stress increases disease susceptibility in farm animals, and has a negative impact on their growth and reproduction, as well as on the quality of food products such as chicken eggs and meat. In mammals, stress responses are regulated by forebrain networks, which involve the amygdala as a central structure. Our group recently identified different subdivisions and neuron populations of the amygdala in chickens. However, the implication of this avian structure in stress is unknown. This project will investigate how the amygdala regulates the stress response in chickens and will include study of gene expression and transcriptome analysis in the avian amygdala of chickens with different resilience to stress or raised under different environmental conditions. This work will also link to other work from our laboratory on the development, molecular profile and role of different neurons of the amygdala in the control of emotional responses, social cognition and behaviour.