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Costly steroids: egg testosterone modulates nestling metabolic rate in the zebra finch

Tobler, Michael LU ; Nilsson, Jan-Åke LU and Nilsson, Johan LU (2007) In Biology Letters 3(4). p.408-410
Abstract
The transfer of non-genetic resources from mother to the offspring often has considerable consequences for offspring performance. In birds, maternally derived hormones are known to influence a variety of morphological, physiological and behavioural traits in the chick. So far, the range of these hormonal effects involves benefits in terms of enhanced growth and competitive ability as well as costs in terms of immunosuppression. However, since yolk hormones can enhance growth and begging activity, high levels of these hormones may also involve energetic costs. Here, we show experimentally that elevated levels of prenatal testosterone increase resting metabolic rate in nestling zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata). Surprisingly, however,... (More)
The transfer of non-genetic resources from mother to the offspring often has considerable consequences for offspring performance. In birds, maternally derived hormones are known to influence a variety of morphological, physiological and behavioural traits in the chick. So far, the range of these hormonal effects involves benefits in terms of enhanced growth and competitive ability as well as costs in terms of immunosuppression. However, since yolk hormones can enhance growth and begging activity, high levels of these hormones may also involve energetic costs. Here, we show experimentally that elevated levels of prenatal testosterone increase resting metabolic rate in nestling zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata). Surprisingly, however, elevation of prenatal testosterone did not result in higher growth rates and, thus, differences in resting metabolism do not seem to be linked to nestling growth. We conclude that apart from immunosuppressive effects, high levels of egg steroids may also entail costs in terms of increased energy expenditure. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
maternal hormones, testosterone, Taeniopygia guttata, metabolism, maternal effects
in
Biology Letters
volume
3
issue
4
pages
408 - 410
publisher
Royal Society
external identifiers
  • wos:000247907000016
  • scopus:34848919022
ISSN
1744-9561
DOI
10.1098/rsbl.2007.0127
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
588152c4-b119-492b-836c-da8c29030dc0 (old id 692902)
date added to LUP
2007-12-19 09:49:44
date last changed
2017-03-05 03:25:34
@article{588152c4-b119-492b-836c-da8c29030dc0,
  abstract     = {The transfer of non-genetic resources from mother to the offspring often has considerable consequences for offspring performance. In birds, maternally derived hormones are known to influence a variety of morphological, physiological and behavioural traits in the chick. So far, the range of these hormonal effects involves benefits in terms of enhanced growth and competitive ability as well as costs in terms of immunosuppression. However, since yolk hormones can enhance growth and begging activity, high levels of these hormones may also involve energetic costs. Here, we show experimentally that elevated levels of prenatal testosterone increase resting metabolic rate in nestling zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata). Surprisingly, however, elevation of prenatal testosterone did not result in higher growth rates and, thus, differences in resting metabolism do not seem to be linked to nestling growth. We conclude that apart from immunosuppressive effects, high levels of egg steroids may also entail costs in terms of increased energy expenditure.},
  author       = {Tobler, Michael and Nilsson, Jan-Åke and Nilsson, Johan},
  issn         = {1744-9561},
  keyword      = {maternal hormones,testosterone,Taeniopygia guttata,metabolism,maternal effects},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {408--410},
  publisher    = {Royal Society},
  series       = {Biology Letters},
  title        = {Costly steroids: egg testosterone modulates nestling metabolic rate in the zebra finch},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2007.0127},
  volume       = {3},
  year         = {2007},
}