Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 562086
Title Between- and within-individual variation of maternal thyroid hormone deposition in wild great tits (Parus major)
Author(s) Hsu, Bin Yan; Verhagen, Irene; Gienapp, Phillip; Darras, Veerle M.; Visser, Marcel E.; Ruuskanen, Suvi
Source American Naturalist 194 (2019)4. - ISSN 0003-0147 - p. E96 - E108.
DOI https://doi.org/10.1086/704738
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2019
Keyword(s) Great tits - Individual variation - Maternal hormones - Multilevel linear mixed model - Reaction norms - Thyroid hormones
Abstract

Maternal hormones are often considered a mediator of anticipatory maternal effects; namely, mothers adjust maternal hormone transfer to prepare the offspring for the anticipated environment. The flexibility for mothers to adjust hormone transfer is therefore a prerequisite for such anticipatory maternal effects. Nevertheless, previous studies have focused only on the average differences of maternal hormone transfer between groups and neglected the substantial individual variation, despite the fact that individual plasticity in maternal hormone transfer is actually the central assumption. In this study, we studied the between-and within-individual variation of maternal thyroid hormones (THs) in egg yolk of wild great tits (Parus major) and estimated the individual plasticity of maternal yolk THs across environmental temperature, clutch initiation dates, and egg laying order using linear mixed effects models. Interestingly, our models provide statistical evidence that the two main THs—the main biologically active hormone T3 and T4, which is mostly considered a prohormone—exhibited different variation patterns. Yolk T3 showed significant between-individual variation on the average levels, in line with its previously reported moderate heritability. Yolk T4, however, showed significant between-clutch variation in the pattern over the laying sequence, suggesting a great within-individual plasticity. Our findings suggest that the role and function of the hormone within the endocrine axis likely influences its flexibility to respond to environmental change. Whether the flexibility of T4 deposition brings a fitness advantage should be examined along with its potential effects on offspring, which remain to be further investigated.

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