Publication
Title
Negative effects of yolk testosterone and ticks on growth in canaries
Author
Abstract
Maternal yolk hormones in bird eggs are thought to adjust the offspring to the post-hatching environment. This implies that the effects of maternal yolk hormones should vary with the post-hatching environment, but to date such context-dependency has largely been ignored. We experimentally increased yolk testosterone concentrations in canary eggs and simultaneously manipulated the post-hatching context via an experimental tick-infestation of the chicks. This allows us to evaluate the context-dependency of hormone-mediated maternal effects, as it has previously been shown that ectoparasites alter the maternal yolk androgen deposition. The experimental tick infestation reduced growth in chicks from sham-treated eggs, indicating harmful effects of this ectoparasite in canaries. Chicks from testosterone-treated eggs were not affected in their development by ticks, suggesting lower ectoparasite vulnerability. But this may also be due to the fact that experimentally elevated yolk testosterone levels impaired growth even under parasite-free conditions. This contrasts previous studies, but these studies often manipulated first laid eggs, while we used eggs of subsequent laying positions. Later laid eggs are presumably of lower quality and contain higher yolk testosterone concentrations. Thus, the effects of elevated yolk testosterone on growth may be dose-dependent or vary with the egg quality, suggesting prenatal context-dependency.
Language
English
Source (journal)
Journal of experimental zoology: part A: comparative experimental biology. - Bognor Regis
Publication
Bognor Regis : 2011
ISSN
1548-8969
Volume/pages
315:9(2011), p. 553-561
ISI
000296194000007
Full text (Publisher's DOI)
Full text (publisher's version - intranet only)
UAntwerpen
Faculty/Department
Research group
[E?say:metaLocaldata.cgzprojectinf]
Song in songbirds as a model system for studying complex behaviours: an integration of ecological, physiological and neurobiological data in an evolutionary framework.
Publication type
Subject
Affiliation
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Web of Science
Record
Identification
Creation 15.09.2011
Last edited 09.08.2017
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