Publication
Title
Maternal hormones as a tool to adjust offspring phenotype in avian species
Author
Abstract
Avian eggs contain substantial amounts of maternal hormones and so provide an excellent model to study hormone-mediated maternal effects. We review this new and rapidly evolving field, taking an ecological and evolutionary approach and focusing on effects and function of maternal androgens in offspring development. Manipulation of yolk levels of androgens within the physiological range indicates that maternal androgens affect behaviour, growth, morphology, immune function and survival of the offspring, in some cases even long after fledging. Descriptive and experimental studies show systematic variation in maternal androgen deposition both within and among clutches, as well as in relation to the sex of the embryo. We discuss the potential adaptive value of maternal androgen transfer at all these three levels. We conclude that maternal androgen deposition in avian eggs provides a flexible mechanism of non-genetic inheritance, by which the mother can favour some offspring over others, and adjust their developmental trajectories to prevailing environmental conditions, producing different phenotypes. However, the literature is less consistent than often assumed and at all three levels, the functional explanations need further experimental testing. The field would greatly benefit from an analysis of the underlying physiological mechanisms. q 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Language
English
Source (journal)
Neuroscience and biobehavioral reviews. - Fayetteville, N. Y, 1978, currens
Publication
Fayetteville, N. Y : ANKHO International Inc, 2005
ISSN
0149-7634
Volume/pages
29:2(2005), p. 329-352
ISI
000228629700011
Full text (Publisher's DOI)
Full text (publisher's version - intranet only)
UAntwerpen
Faculty/Department
Research group
Publication type
Subject
Affiliation
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Web of Science
Record
Identification
Creation 29.07.2011
Last edited 08.08.2017
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