Navigation Links
In birds, expecting to mate leads to higher fertilization rates
Date:10/4/2007

From an evolutionary perspective, the primary task of an organism is to pass along its genes to future generations. Such genetic transmission is usually assumed to be instinctive. However, a new study shows that species also learn to adapt to their surroundings in order to increase their reproductive fitness the likelihood that they will successfully reproduce.

One form of learning that increases reproductive fitness is Pavlovian conditioning, the ability to associate a neutral stimulus with a stimulus of significance. The classic example comes from Ivan Pavlov and his dogs that eventually salivated at just the sound of a bell, because the bell had been preciously paired with a slab of meat. However, when it comes to reproduction, does learning contribute to more offspring"

Researchers from the University of Texas at Austin decided to test this in the laboratory. Nicolle Matthews and colleagues set out to examine whether learning can contribute to reproductive fitness in a particularly challenging situation when two males compete to fertilize the egg of a single female.

Matthews hypothesized that if two males mate with the same female compete to fertilize her eggs, paternity will favor the male that received a signal or conditioned stimulus before the mating session.

Using quail, Matthews put the males into two chambers for thirty minutes; they repeated this for five days. One chamber was green and was located on the floor near a noisy room and the other chamber was white, had a tilted floor, and was located in an isolated room on a table. Whenever the quails were in one of the two chambers, they were allowed access to a female. Thus, the quail learned to anticipate a chance to copulate whenever they were placed in this chamber but not when they were in the other.

On the test day, each female was allowed to copulate with two males. One of the males was in the chamber where he expected to receive access to a female and the other male was in a chamber where he did not expect a female. Using genetic markers, the researchers then collected the eggs of the female quail and tested the paternity.

The results, which appear in the September issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, are clear: The males who were placed in the context that led them to anticipate access to a female just before copulation fertilized seventy-two percent of the eggs laid by the female quail. In other words, the quail who knew they were going to have the opportunity to mate produced more offspring. This is a significant finding because typically when two males mate in quick succession with the same female, no differences in paternity are found, which Matthews confirmed in a follow-up experiment.

The researchers point out that the conditioning most likely had an effect on the rate of sperm release without changing sperm quality or concentration. Learning and individual experience can bias genetic transmission and the evolutionary changes that result from sexual competition, write the authors.


'/>"/>

Contact: Catherine West
cwest@psychologicalscience.org
202-783-2077
Association for Psychological Science
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Pregnant Women Expecting Sons Will Do Well to Avoid Beef
2. Toolkit Released To Employers Of Expecting Mothers
3. Drinking arsenic water leads to cancer
4. Doctor Pleads Not Guilty
5. Coronary stent leads to complications
6. Starving leads to obesity
7. Drug abuse leads to long standing changes in the brain
8. Deprived sleep leads to ageing
9. Tobacco chewing leads to dental caries
10. Tongue piercing leads to bacterial infection
11. Cathine leads to mental health disorder
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:7/24/2017)... SANTA CLARA, CA (PRWEB) , ... July 24, 2017 , ... ... government and financial organizations, today announced it has partnered with WALLIX to ... NIST Special Publication 800-171 . , There are a number of ways to address ...
(Date:7/24/2017)... ... July 24, 2017 , ... Anyone who uses scales know they ... would a pharmacist using that same scale to dispense medication. The first example is ... These illustrations show why it is important to have the right balance for the ...
(Date:7/24/2017)... ... 24, 2017 , ... A Southern California-based author has released a new book ... she has overcome them. “Forbidden Memories: A Memoir,” by author Michelle V. Madsen, highlights ... risen above. , In “Memories,” readers get a firsthand look at what Michelle has ...
(Date:7/24/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... July 24, 2017 , ... ... how to change manufacturers future. , The agency is hammering out a game ... one of the farthest-ranging laws ever to affect FDA-regulated firms. The new law:, ...
(Date:7/24/2017)... ... 24, 2017 , ... “A Short Walk to the Mailbox”: a remarkable memoir ... of published author, Ed Clark. Ed Clark is a church music director and ... a minister of music and worship leader for over fifty years. He has ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:7/10/2017)... S.C. , July 10, 2017  BDI ... purchasing and patient support services organization serving specialty ... today the launch of four significant, value-added member ... market insights, better manage reimbursement and improve access ... and factor therapies. ...
(Date:7/5/2017)... 5, 2017 Oramed Pharmaceuticals Inc. ... ), a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on the development ... received approval from the Israel Securities Authority to dual-list its ... common stock will commence trading on the TASE on July ... market capitalization of the Company, it is expected that Oramed ...
(Date:6/30/2017)... -- AVACEN Medical (AVACEN) announced the publication of new research in the ... its AVACEN Treatment Method to significantly reduce the widespread ... ... ... approximately 200 to 400 million people worldwide according to The National ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: