Laura M Zimmerman

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We describe the genome of the western painted turtle, Chrysemys picta bellii, one of the most widespread, abundant, and well-studied turtles. We place the genome into a comparative evolutionary context, and focus on genomic features associated with tooth loss, immune function, longevity, sex differentiation and determination, and the species' physiological(More)
Reptiles are ectothermic amniotes, providing the key link between ectothermic anamniotic fishes and amphibians, and endothermic amniotic birds and mammals. A greater understanding of reptilian immunity will provide important insights into the evolutionary history of vertebrate immunity as well as the growing field of eco-immunology. Like mammals, reptile(More)
The primary function of the immune system is to protect the organism from invading pathogens. In vertebrates, this has resulted in a multifaceted system comprised of both innate and adaptive components. The immune system of all jawed vertebrates is complex, but unlike the endothermic vertebrates, relatively little is known about the functioning of the(More)
The reproductive costs associated with the upregulation of immunity have been well-documented and constitute a fundamental trade-off between reproduction and self-maintenance. However, recent experimental work suggests that parents may increase their reproductive effort following immunostimulation as a form of terminal parental investment as prospects for(More)
Aging is typically associated with a decrease in immune function. However, aging does not affect each branch of the immune system equally. Because of these varying effects of age on immune responses, aging could affect taxa differently based on how the particular taxon employs its resources towards different components of immune defense. An example of this(More)
Exposure to maternally derived substances during development can affect offspring phenotype. In ovo exposure to maternally derived steroids has been shown to influence traits such as growth and behavior in the offspring. The development of the immune system also can be altered by exposure to both androgens and glucocorticoids in a variety of species, but(More)
Evidence for a developmental relationship between B cells and macrophages has led to the hypothesis that B cells evolved from a phagocytic predecessor. The recent identification of phagocytic IgM+ cells in fishes and amphibians supports this hypothesis, but raises the question of when, evolutionarily, was phagocytic capacity lost in B cells? To address(More)