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

Uller, Tobias, Hollander, Johan, Astheimer, Lee and Olsson, Mats 2009, Sex-specific developmental plasticity in response to yolk corticosterone in an oviparous lizard, Journal of experimental biology, vol. 212, pp. 1087-1091, doi: 10.1242/jeb.024257.

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Title Sex-specific developmental plasticity in response to yolk corticosterone in an oviparous lizard
Author(s) Uller, Tobias
Hollander, Johan
Astheimer, Lee
Olsson, Mats
Journal name Journal of experimental biology
Volume number 212
Start page 1087
End page 1091
Total pages 5
Publisher Company of Biologists Ltd.
Place of publication Cambridge, England
Publication date 2009
ISSN 0022-0949
1477-9145
Keyword(s) Ctenophorus fordi
hormones
phenotypic plasticity
Summary 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.
Notes First published online March 27, 2009

Reproduced with the specific permission of the copyright owner.
Language eng
DOI 10.1242/jeb.024257
Field of Research 060299 Ecology not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
HERDC collection year 2009
Copyright notice ©2009, The Company of Biologists Ltd.
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30020792

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.