Abstract # 4333 Poster # 156:

Scheduled for Friday, June 22, 2012 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: Session 22 (Gardenia) Poster Presentation


A. Mustoe, E. Harrison and J. A. French
University of Nebraska at Omaha, Callitrichid Research Center, Department of Psychology, Omaha, NE 68182, USA
     The oxytocin (OT) neuropeptide system plays an important role in the formation and maintenance of social bonds in mammals. The OT and OT receptor (OTr) sequences are highly conserved across Mammalia. However, new evidence is showing that many New World monkey (NWM) species have acquired novel OT and OTr amino acid sequences. The novel proline substitution in amino acid position 8 sequences found among NWM species appears to be unique within Mammalia. To date, marmosets, tamarins, owl monkeys, squirrel monkeys, and capuchins show the novel OT sequence, while titi monkeys show the conserved OT sequence. Information was only available for Callithrix jacchus within the Callithrix genus. Using tissue samples collected across three different species of marmosets, Callithrix geoffroyi, Callithrix kuhlii, and Callithrix penincillata, we sequenced and showed that these species possess the novel OT sequence. The presence of the novel OT sequence across many species of marmosets suggests this mutation is pervasive within the Callithrix genus. It is currently unclear what reproductive and behavioral ramifications exist because of the novel OT sequence. Nevertheless, much insight can be achieved by discovering how the novel OT sequence affects NWM cladistic organization. Additionally, due to the cooperative breeding status and high prosocial behavior exhibited by many NWM species, any role this novel OT sequence may play in the expression of particular reproductive and social behaviors warrants further examination.