Document Detail

Carotenoids and egg quality in the lesser blackbacked gull Larus fuscus: a supplemental feeding study of maternal effects.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  11788033     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Egg quality is a phenotype of, and can profoundly influence fitness in, both mother and offspring. However, the physiological mechanisms that underlie this maternal effect are poorly understood. Carotenoids are hypothesized to enhance antioxidant activity and immune function, and are responsible for the pigmentation of egg yolk. The proximate basis and consequences of this maternal investment, however, have not previously been studied in wild birds. In this supplemental feeding study of lesser black-backed gulls, Larus fuscus, carotenoid-fed females are shown to have increased integument pigmentation, higher plasma concentrations of carotenoids and antioxidant activity, and lower plasma concentrations of immunoglobulins (Igs) in comparison with controls. In turn, carotenoid-fed females produced eggs containing high carotenoid but low Ig concentrations (i.e. passive immunity), whereas control females produced eggs containing low carotenoid but high Ig concentrations. Within-clutch patterns of these resources varied over the laying sequence in a similar manner in both carotenoid-fed and control nests. Our results suggest that carotenoids could be one resource responsible for egg quality maternal effects in birds. We discuss the possible implications of carotenoid-mediated effects on phenotype for fitness in mothers and their offspring.
Jonathan D Blount; Peter F Surai; Ruedi G Nager; David C Houston; Anders Pape Møller; Michael L Trewby; Malcolm W Kennedy
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society     Volume:  269     ISSN:  0962-8452     ISO Abbreviation:  Proc. Biol. Sci.     Publication Date:  2002 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2002-01-14     Completed Date:  2002-06-07     Revised Date:  2010-09-14    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101245157     Medline TA:  Proc Biol Sci     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  29-36     Citation Subset:  IM    
Division of Environmental and Evolutionary Biology, Institute of Biomedical and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ, UK.
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MeSH Terms
Animal Feed*
Animal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
Animals, Wild
Antioxidants / administration & dosage,  pharmacology
Birds / immunology,  physiology*
Carotenoids / administration & dosage*,  blood,  pharmacology*
Dietary Supplements*
Egg Yolk / chemistry,  drug effects,  metabolism
Immunoglobulin G / immunology
Ovum / chemistry,  drug effects*,  physiology
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Antioxidants; 0/Immunoglobulin G; 36-88-4/Carotenoids

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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