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Polymorphic male color morphs visualized with steroids in monomorphic females: a tool for designing analysis of sex-limited trait inheritance

Olsson, Mats; Healey, Mo; Wilson, Mark and Tobler, Michael LU (2012) In Journal of Experimental Biology 215(4). p.575-577
Abstract
In diploid animals, males and females share most of the genome (except sex-specific elements, such as sex chromosome genes), yet despite sharing the underlying genes that hard-wire traits, males and females may differ in their phenotypes when traits are controlled by proximate mechanisms, such as hormones. In color polymorphic species where coloration is only expressed in one sex, the design of studies of the inheritance of color and coevolved morph-specific traits (e.g. territorial vs sneaker strategies, skewed energetic investment in territorial defense vs sperm production, etc.) is compromised as the expression of morph-coding genes is only visualized in one sex. Here, we circumvented this problem by first characterizing oxidative... (More)
In diploid animals, males and females share most of the genome (except sex-specific elements, such as sex chromosome genes), yet despite sharing the underlying genes that hard-wire traits, males and females may differ in their phenotypes when traits are controlled by proximate mechanisms, such as hormones. In color polymorphic species where coloration is only expressed in one sex, the design of studies of the inheritance of color and coevolved morph-specific traits (e.g. territorial vs sneaker strategies, skewed energetic investment in territorial defense vs sperm production, etc.) is compromised as the expression of morph-coding genes is only visualized in one sex. Here, we circumvented this problem by first characterizing oxidative stress traits in both sexes and then using testosterone implants in females to expose their otherwise ‘silent’ coloration. Males of our model species are highly territorial and exhibit morph-specific levels of aggression, whereas females are non-territorial and display very low levels of aggression. Interestingly, reactive oxygen species levels were found to be morph specific regardless of sex, despite considerable differences in lifestyle. Males and females did differ remarkably, however, in superoxide levels depending on whether they sported a colored throat bib or not, a trait also used in male sexual signaling. Females with throat bibs had significantly lower levels of superoxide than females without a bib, which was not the case for males. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
sex differences, male color, superoxide, testosterone
in
Journal of Experimental Biology
volume
215
issue
4
pages
575 - 577
publisher
The Company of Biologists Ltd
external identifiers
  • scopus:84863409804
ISSN
1477-9145
DOI
10.1242/​jeb.059352
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
764dc7f6-1cb4-4954-ac49-dbe6848af0b2 (old id 3050480)
date added to LUP
2012-09-06 14:50:59
date last changed
2017-01-01 03:53:36
@article{764dc7f6-1cb4-4954-ac49-dbe6848af0b2,
  abstract     = {In diploid animals, males and females share most of the genome (except sex-specific elements, such as sex chromosome genes), yet despite sharing the underlying genes that hard-wire traits, males and females may differ in their phenotypes when traits are controlled by proximate mechanisms, such as hormones. In color polymorphic species where coloration is only expressed in one sex, the design of studies of the inheritance of color and coevolved morph-specific traits (e.g. territorial vs sneaker strategies, skewed energetic investment in territorial defense vs sperm production, etc.) is compromised as the expression of morph-coding genes is only visualized in one sex. Here, we circumvented this problem by first characterizing oxidative stress traits in both sexes and then using testosterone implants in females to expose their otherwise ‘silent’ coloration. Males of our model species are highly territorial and exhibit morph-specific levels of aggression, whereas females are non-territorial and display very low levels of aggression. Interestingly, reactive oxygen species levels were found to be morph specific regardless of sex, despite considerable differences in lifestyle. Males and females did differ remarkably, however, in superoxide levels depending on whether they sported a colored throat bib or not, a trait also used in male sexual signaling. Females with throat bibs had significantly lower levels of superoxide than females without a bib, which was not the case for males.},
  author       = {Olsson, Mats and Healey, Mo and Wilson, Mark and Tobler, Michael},
  issn         = {1477-9145},
  keyword      = {sex differences,male color,superoxide,testosterone},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {575--577},
  publisher    = {The Company of Biologists Ltd},
  series       = {Journal of Experimental Biology},
  title        = {Polymorphic male color morphs visualized with steroids in monomorphic females: a tool for designing analysis of sex-limited trait inheritance},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/​jeb.059352},
  volume       = {215},
  year         = {2012},
}