Ejaculate testosterone levels affect maternal investment in red junglefowl (Gallus gallus gallus)

Asmoro Lelono*, Bernd Riedstra, Ton Groothuis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Substantial concentrations of testosterone are not only present in a male's circulation, but also in its ejaculate. Surprisingly, the regulation of ejaculate T and its effects on females and their offspring, potentially a cryptic paternal trait, are not known. We found lower circulating and higher ejaculate T concentrations in subordinate red junglefowl (Gallus gallus gallus) males compared to dominant males, suggestive of an adaptive trade-off in T allocation to circulation and their ejaculate. Subsequently, we artificially inseminated females with either testosterone enriched (TE) or control ejaculates (CE) in a cross-over design. TE females produced heavier eggs than CE females. Offspring growth and tonic immobility were affected in a sex-specific way by TE. TE sons were heavier with shorter TI duration than CE sons, and TE daughters were lighter than CE daughters but daughters did not differ in TI score. However, the chicks competitiveness was not influenced by the TE nor CE. This indicates a previously unknown function of ejaculate testosterone as well as a new form of interaction between a cryptic paternal trait and a maternal effect that may be widespread in the animal kingdom.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12126
Number of pages10
JournalScientific Reports
Volume9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20-Aug-2019

Keywords

  • SPERM STORAGE TUBULES
  • ANDROGEN RECEPTOR
  • TONIC IMMOBILITY
  • SEXUAL SELECTION
  • SEMINAL PLASMA
  • COMB SIZE
  • HORMONE
  • SEMEN
  • MECHANISMS
  • DOMINANCE

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