Title
Migratory constraints on yolk precursors limit yolk androgen deposition and underlie a brood reduction strategy in rockhopper penguins Migratory constraints on yolk precursors limit yolk androgen deposition and underlie a brood reduction strategy in rockhopper penguins
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Sciences. Biology
Publication type
article
Publication
London ,
Subject
Chemistry
Biology
Human medicine
Source (journal)
Biology letters / Royal Society [London] - London
Volume/pages
8(2012) :6 , p. 1055-1058
ISSN
1744-9561
ISI
000311025100044
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
Hormonally mediated maternal effects link maternal phenotype and environmental conditions to offspring phenotype. The production of lipid-rich maternal yolk precursors may provide a mechanism by which lipophilic steroid hormones can be transported to developing yolks, thus predicting a positive correlation between yolk precursors in mothers and androgen levels in eggs. Using rockhopper penguins (Eudyptes chrysocome), which produce a two-egg clutch characterized by extreme egg-size dimorphism, reversed hatching asynchrony and brood-reduction, we examined correlations between circulating concentrations of the primary yolk-precursor vitellogenin (VTG) and levels of yolk androgens. Previous work in Eudyptes penguins has shown that egg-size dimorphism is the product of migratory constraints on yolk precursor production. We predicted that if yolk precursors are constrained, androgen transport to developing yolks would be similarly constrained. We reveal positive linear relationships between maternal VTG and androgens in small A-eggs but not larger B-eggs, which is consistent with a migratory constraint operating on the A-egg. Results suggest that intra-clutch variation in total yolk androgen levels depends on the production and uptake of yolk precursors. The brood reduction strategy common to Eudyptes might thus be best described as the result of a migratory constraint.
E-info
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