Document Detail

Photorefractoriness and energy availability interact to permit facultative timing of spring breeding.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22936842     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
In seasonally breeding mammals, vernal reproductive development is not directly triggered by increases in day length, rather, an endogenous program of photorefractoriness to short winter days initiates spontaneous development in advance of spring. The transition to the reproductive phenotype is energetically demanding. How food availability in late winter and early spring impacts the onset and expression of photorefractoriness is not known. In this study, male Siberian hamsters were born into a simulated natural photoperiod, and at the winter solstice, they were subjected to a restricted feeding protocol in which a daily food ration was provided in an amount equal to ad libitum (AL) intake during the weeks preceding the solstice. Over the next several months, AL-fed control hamsters exhibited spontaneous recrudescence or spontaneous development. In contrast, vernal reproductive development was abolished in most food-rationed hamsters. In food-rationed hamsters that did exhibit recrudescence, conspicuous delays in the onset of gonadal development and decreases in the magnitude of growth were evident. In all hamsters, the termination of food rationing triggered rapid gonadal development. The data indicate that late winter/early spring increases in environmental food availability are required for the normal manifestation of photorefractoriness-induced reproductive development and suggest that a function of photorefractoriness may be merely to disinhibit the reproductive axis from photoperiodic suppression. Vernal gonadal development or recrudescence appears to be strongly affected by proximate energy availability.
James C Dooley; Brian J Prendergast
Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-4-26
Journal Detail:
Title:  Behavioral ecology : official journal of the International Society for Behavioral Ecology     Volume:  23     ISSN:  1465-7279     ISO Abbreviation:  Behav. Ecol.     Publication Date:  2012 9 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-8-31     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9426330     Medline TA:  Behav Ecol     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  1049-1058     Citation Subset:  -    
Department of Psychology, University of Chicago, 940 E. 57th St., Chicago, IL 60637, USA.
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