Presentation Title

Effects of Rearing Condition on Parent Fitness and Offspring Development

Advisor Information

Rosemary Strasser

Location

Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss Library

Presentation Type

Poster

Start Date

7-3-2014 9:00 AM

End Date

7-3-2014 12:00 PM

Abstract

This study examined the effects of uniparental and biparental rearing conditions on offspring growth and development and parental fitness in zebra finches. A previous study discovered that rearing zebra finches in the biparental condition had an adverse effect on the growth and development of their offspring compared to uniparental conditions, which supported zebra finch development (Royle, Hartley & Parker, 2002). Uniparental conditions positively affected the development of male offspring due to greater maternal investment, and they became more sexually attractive in adulthood compared to males in the biparental conditions. Using zebra finches as our model system, we examined the effects of uniparental rearing, as opposed to the typical biparental rearing, on offspring growth and fitness of the parents. In the offspring, we measured body mass, bone length, and development of secondary sex traits such as beak and cheek patch coloration across development. Fecal samples were also collected for later stress hormone analysis. Between rearing conditions we discovered that uniparental chicks had a significantly larger increase in tarsus growth and uniparental mothers were found to lose the largest amount of weight from baseline, signifying their greater investment in offspring care. In addition to Royle’s findings we observed an increased tarsus growth in offspring of the uniparental condition and increased early beak and cheek coloring development. This may signify increased fitness of offspring reared uniparentally, or alternatively an effect on sex hormone levels, which have been shown to affect longitudinal bone growth (Clarke, & Khosla, ,2009; Manolagas, Kousteni, & Jilka, 2002).

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Mar 7th, 9:00 AM Mar 7th, 12:00 PM

Effects of Rearing Condition on Parent Fitness and Offspring Development

Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss Library

This study examined the effects of uniparental and biparental rearing conditions on offspring growth and development and parental fitness in zebra finches. A previous study discovered that rearing zebra finches in the biparental condition had an adverse effect on the growth and development of their offspring compared to uniparental conditions, which supported zebra finch development (Royle, Hartley & Parker, 2002). Uniparental conditions positively affected the development of male offspring due to greater maternal investment, and they became more sexually attractive in adulthood compared to males in the biparental conditions. Using zebra finches as our model system, we examined the effects of uniparental rearing, as opposed to the typical biparental rearing, on offspring growth and fitness of the parents. In the offspring, we measured body mass, bone length, and development of secondary sex traits such as beak and cheek patch coloration across development. Fecal samples were also collected for later stress hormone analysis. Between rearing conditions we discovered that uniparental chicks had a significantly larger increase in tarsus growth and uniparental mothers were found to lose the largest amount of weight from baseline, signifying their greater investment in offspring care. In addition to Royle’s findings we observed an increased tarsus growth in offspring of the uniparental condition and increased early beak and cheek coloring development. This may signify increased fitness of offspring reared uniparentally, or alternatively an effect on sex hormone levels, which have been shown to affect longitudinal bone growth (Clarke, & Khosla, ,2009; Manolagas, Kousteni, & Jilka, 2002).