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Sex-specific developmental plasticity in response to yolk corticosterone in an oviparous lizard

Uller, Tobias; Hollander, Johan LU ; Astheimer, Lee and Olsson, Mats (2009) In Journal of Experimental Biology 212(8). p.1087-1091
Abstract
Corticosterone exposure during prenatal development as a result of maternal upregulation of circulating hormone levels has been shown to have effects on offspring development in mammals. Corticosterone has also been documented in egg yolk in oviparous vertebrates, but the extent to which this influences phenotypic development is less studied. We show that maternal corticosterone is transferred to egg yolk in an oviparous lizard (the mallee dragon, Ctenophorus fordi Storr), with significant variation among clutches in hormone levels. Experimental elevation of yolk corticosterone did not affect hatching success, incubation period or

offspring sex ratio. However, corticosterone did have a sex-specific effect on skeletal growth during... (More)
Corticosterone exposure during prenatal development as a result of maternal upregulation of circulating hormone levels has been shown to have effects on offspring development in mammals. Corticosterone has also been documented in egg yolk in oviparous vertebrates, but the extent to which this influences phenotypic development is less studied. We show that maternal corticosterone is transferred to egg yolk in an oviparous lizard (the mallee dragon, Ctenophorus fordi Storr), with significant variation among clutches in hormone levels. Experimental elevation of yolk corticosterone did not affect hatching success, incubation period or

offspring sex ratio. However, corticosterone did have a sex-specific effect on skeletal growth during embryonic development.

Male embryos exposed to relatively high levels of corticosterone were smaller on average than control males at hatching whereas females from hormone-treated eggs were larger on average than control females. The data thus suggest that males are not just more sensitive to the detrimental effects of corticosterone but rather that the sexes may have opposite responses to corticosterone during development. Positive selection on body size at hatching for both sexes in this species further suggests that increased corticosterone in egg yolk may have sex-specific fitness consequences, with potential implications for sex allocation and the evolution of hormone-mediated maternal effects. (Less)
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author
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Ctenophorus fordi, hormones, phenotypic plasticity
in
Journal of Experimental Biology
volume
212
issue
8
pages
1087 - 1091
publisher
The Company of Biologists Ltd
external identifiers
  • scopus:63849191139
ISSN
1477-9145
DOI
10.1242/jeb.024257
language
English
LU publication?
no
id
fb382fad-8f57-444d-a946-77708c420f6f (old id 1982126)
date added to LUP
2011-08-19 13:20:35
date last changed
2017-09-10 03:30:20
@article{fb382fad-8f57-444d-a946-77708c420f6f,
  abstract     = {Corticosterone exposure during prenatal development as a result of maternal upregulation of circulating hormone levels has been shown to have effects on offspring development in mammals. Corticosterone has also been documented in egg yolk in oviparous vertebrates, but the extent to which this influences phenotypic development is less studied. We show that maternal corticosterone is transferred to egg yolk in an oviparous lizard (the mallee dragon, Ctenophorus fordi Storr), with significant variation among clutches in hormone levels. Experimental elevation of yolk corticosterone did not affect hatching success, incubation period or<br/><br>
offspring sex ratio. However, corticosterone did have a sex-specific effect on skeletal growth during embryonic development.<br/><br>
Male embryos exposed to relatively high levels of corticosterone were smaller on average than control males at hatching whereas females from hormone-treated eggs were larger on average than control females. The data thus suggest that males are not just more sensitive to the detrimental effects of corticosterone but rather that the sexes may have opposite responses to corticosterone during development. Positive selection on body size at hatching for both sexes in this species further suggests that increased corticosterone in egg yolk may have sex-specific fitness consequences, with potential implications for sex allocation and the evolution of hormone-mediated maternal effects.},
  author       = {Uller, Tobias and Hollander, Johan and Astheimer, Lee and Olsson, Mats},
  issn         = {1477-9145},
  keyword      = {Ctenophorus fordi,hormones,phenotypic plasticity},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {8},
  pages        = {1087--1091},
  publisher    = {The Company of Biologists Ltd},
  series       = {Journal of Experimental Biology},
  title        = {Sex-specific developmental plasticity in response to yolk corticosterone in an oviparous lizard},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/jeb.024257},
  volume       = {212},
  year         = {2009},
}