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Physiological and Biochemical Zoology is soliciting manuscripts for review for a Focused Issue on:

Early-life Effects on the Adult Phenotype: a Comparative Perspective

Adult organisms are the result of ontogenetic development that is fundamentally guided by the genome, but is also modulated by environmental factors. In general, environmental influences early in life are particularly likely to have lasting effects, and yet are often difficult to identify. For example, numerous studies show that humans that experience nutritional stress early in life (e.g., around conception) have altered adult phenotypes at both behavioral and physiological levels. Further studies, especially with rodents, show that these effects may have an epigenetic basis, caused by such mechanisms as methylation of particular DNA sequences. Moreover, work on rodents, fishes, and insects demonstrate that some early-life effects may cross generations (e.g., grand-offspring may be impacted).

Topics of interest for the focused issue include, but are not limited to:

  • Parental effects
  • Developmental plasticity and critical windows
  • Acclimation and acclimatization
  • Effects of altered biophysical conditions (e.g., hypoxia, environmental acidification, climate change) during embryonic stages on subsequent development, growth, and performance
  • Epigenetic mechanisms underlying early-life effects on adult phenotypes
  • Impact of parental stress on development (including in utero & other maternal effects)
  • Compensatory mechanisms of developing physiological systems
  • Role of the endocrine system in early-life effects
  • Long-lasting effects of toxicants experienced during early life

Empirical studies should be hypothesis-driven and examine the ontogeny of behavior, morphology, physiology or biochemical function. Studies on model organisms as well as non-traditional species and humans are welcomed, but all submissions must offer insights relevant to the ecology, evolution or behavior of the organisms under natural conditions.

Both short and comprehensive review or synthesis papers will be considered for this Special Issue (prior to submitting a review, contact the Editor in Chief directly to discuss possibilities). Note that PBZ also considers Brief Communications, Technical Comments, and papers related to Education and Outreach.

All manuscripts should conform to the usual formatting requirements for PBZ (please check our website), and all will receive rigorous peer review via our standard double-blind process. Papers will be published in early 2017.

Deadline for Submissions: Submit manuscripts to by February 15, 2016. Please identify the manuscript as a Special Issue submission.