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Consequences of maternal yolk testosterone for offspring development and survival : experimental test in a lizard

Uller, T., Astheimer, L. and Olsson, M. 2007, Consequences of maternal yolk testosterone for offspring development and survival : experimental test in a lizard, Functional ecology, vol. 21, no. 3, pp. 544-551, doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2435.2007.01264.x.

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Title Consequences of maternal yolk testosterone for offspring development and survival : experimental test in a lizard
Author(s) Uller, T.
Astheimer, L.
Olsson, M.
Journal name Functional ecology
Volume number 21
Issue number 3
Start page 544
End page 551
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Place of publication London, England
Publication date 2007
ISSN 0269-8463
1365-2435
Keyword(s) maternal effects
phenotypic plasticity
reptile
Ctenophorus fordi
yolk hormones
Summary 1. Hormone-mediated maternal effects and developmental plasticity are important sources of phenotypic variation, with potential consequences for trait evolution. Yet our understanding of the importance of maternal hormones for offspring fitness in natural populations is very limited, particularly in non-avian species.

2. We experimentally elevated yolk testosterone by injection of a physiological dose into eggs of the lizard Ctenophorus fordi Storr, to investigate its roles in offspring development, growth and survival.

3. Yolk testosterone did not influence incubation period, basic hatchling morphology or survival under natural conditions. However, there was evidence for increased growth in hatchlings from testosterone-treated eggs, suggesting that maternal hormones have potential fitness consequences in natural populations.

4. The positive effect of prenatal testosterone exposure on postnatal growth could represent a taxonomically widespread developmental mechanism that has evolved into an adaptive maternal effect in some taxa, but remains deleterious or selectively neutral in others.

5. A broader taxonomic perspective should increase our understanding of the role of physiological constraints in the evolution of endocrine maternal effects.
Notes Published Online: 11 May 2007
Language eng
DOI 10.1111/j.1365-2435.2007.01264.x
Field of Research 060299 Ecology not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2007, British Ecological Society
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30019359

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research
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Created: Fri, 11 Sep 2009, 11:32:33 EST by Leanne Swaneveld

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