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Sex steroid profiles in zebra finches : effects of reproductive state and domestication

Prior, Nora H., Yap, Kang Nian, Mainwaring, Mark C., Adomat, Hans H., Crino, Ondi L., Ma, Chunqi, Guns, Emma S., Griffith, Simon C., Buchanan, Katherine L. and Soma, Kiran K. 2016, Sex steroid profiles in zebra finches : effects of reproductive state and domestication, General and comparative endocrinology, In press, pp. 1-10, doi: 10.1016/j.ygcen.2016.02.018.

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Title Sex steroid profiles in zebra finches : effects of reproductive state and domestication
Author(s) Prior, Nora H.
Yap, Kang Nian
Mainwaring, Mark C.
Adomat, Hans H.
Crino, Ondi L.
Ma, Chunqi
Guns, Emma S.
Griffith, Simon C.
Buchanan, Katherine L.
Soma, Kiran K.
Journal name General and comparative endocrinology
Season In press
Start page 1
End page 10
Total pages 10
Publisher Academic Press
Place of publication Cambridge, Mass.
Publication date 2016-02-17
ISSN 1095-6840
1095-6840
Keyword(s) Australia
domestic
opportunistic breeding
songbird
steroid profiling
Summary The zebra finch is a common model organism in neuroscience, endocrinology, and ethology. Zebra finches are generally considered opportunistic breeders, but the extent of their opportunism depends on the predictability of their habitat. This plasticity in the timing of breeding raises the question of how domestication, a process that increases environmental predictability, has affected their reproductive physiology. Here, we compared circulating steroid levels in various "strains" of zebra finches. In Study 1, using radioimmunoassay, we examined circulating testosterone levels in several strains of zebra finches (males and females). Subjects were wild or captive (Captive Wild-Caught, Wild-Derived, or Domesticated). In Study 2, using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS), we examined circulating sex steroid profiles in wild and domesticated zebra finches (males and females). In Study 1, circulating testosterone levels in males differed across strains. In Study 2, six steroids were detectable in plasma from wild zebra finches (pregnenolone, progesterone, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), testosterone, androsterone, and 5α-dihydrotestosterone (5α-DHT)). Only pregnenolone and progesterone levels changed across reproductive states in wild finches. Compared to wild zebra finches, domesticated zebra finches had elevated levels of circulating pregnenolone, progesterone, DHEA, testosterone, androstenedione, and androsterone. These data suggest that domestication has profoundly altered the endocrinology of this common model organism. These results have implications for interpreting studies of domesticated zebra finches, as well as studies of other domesticated species.
Language eng
DOI 10.1016/j.ygcen.2016.02.018
Field of Research 060603 Animal Physiology - Systems
060801 Animal Behaviour
0606 Physiology
Socio Economic Objective 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2016, Elsevier
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30081748

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