Article: article from journal or magazin.
Temporal variation in glucocorticoid levels during the resting phase is associated in opposite way with maternal and paternal melanic coloration.
Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Sex-dependent selection can help maintain sexual dimorphism. When the magnitude of selection exerted on a heritable sex trait differs between the sexes, it may prevent each sex to reach its phenotypic optimum. As a consequence, the benefit of expressing a sex trait to a given value may differ between males and females favouring sex-specific adaptations associated with different values of a sex trait. The level of metabolites regulated by genes that are under sex-dependent selection may therefore covary with the degree of ornamentation differently in the two sexes. We investigated this prediction in the barn owl, a species in which females display on average larger black spots on the plumage than males, a heritable ornament. This melanin-based colour trait is strongly selected in females and weakly counter-selected in males indicating sex-dependent selection. In nestling barn owls, we found that daily variation in baseline corticosterone levels, a key hormone that mediates life history trade-offs, covaries with spot diameter displayed by their biological parents. When their mother displayed larger spots, nestlings had lower corticosterone levels in the morning and higher levels in the evening, whereas the opposite pattern was found with the size of paternal spots. Our study suggests a link between daily regulation of glucocorticoids and sex-dependent selection exerted on sexually dimorphic melanin-based ornaments.
Animals, Animals, Newborn, Circadian Rhythm, Corticosterone/blood, Female, Male, Melanins/metabolism, Pigmentation, Selection, Genetic, Sex Characteristics, Strigiformes/blood, Strigiformes/genetics
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