Elevated oxidative stress in pied flycatcher nestlings of eumelanic foster fathers under low rearing temperatures

Teerikorpi, P E, Stauffer, J, Ilmonen, P, Calhim, S, Schuett, W and Laaksonen, T (2019) Elevated oxidative stress in pied flycatcher nestlings of eumelanic foster fathers under low rearing temperatures. The Journal of Experimental Biology, 222 (7). jeb195909 1-8. ISSN 0022-0949

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Striking variation in melanin coloration within natural populations is likely due to the different fitness outcomes of alternative phenotypes in varying environmental conditions. There are two types of melanin: eumelanins yield blackish hues, whereas pheomelanins yield reddish hues. The production of eumelanins requires low levels of glutathione (GSH), which is the most important intracellular antioxidant, whereas the production of pheomelanins requires high levels of GSH. We investigated the oxidative status of male pied flycatchers (Ficedula hypoleuca) with different degrees of melanin coloration under different temperatures during the nestling period. Moreover, we assessed the oxidative status of offspring in relation to their biological or foster father's melanin coloration and ambient temperature. To separate offspring genotype effects and paternal effects in different temperatures, we used a partial cross-foster design. The temperature differently affected the oxidative status of differently colored male pied flycatchers and their foster offspring. When the weather was relatively cold, black males had higher glutathione S-transferase levels compared with brown males, indicating enhanced stress in black males. Foster offspring of black males had a lower ratio between reduced and oxidized GSH followed by higher total amount of GSH than foster offspring of brown males. Thus, foster offspring of black males seem to suffer from oxidative stress under relatively cold weather compared with those of brown males, and vice versa under relatively warm weather. Although differently colored males experienced changes in their oxidative status under different temperatures, the link between paternal melanin coloration and offspring oxidative stress appears to be environmentally induced.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Life Sciences > Evolution, Behaviour and Environment
Depositing User: Wiebke Schuett
Date Deposited: 15 Apr 2019 08:55
Last Modified: 28 Feb 2020 02:00
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/83248

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