Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Multiple paternity may offer fewer advantages than previously thought

15.04.2016

Females can enhance the survival chances of their offspring by mating with multiple males. When it comes to immunological benefits, however, female promiscuity may not provide the young the advantages long suspected, as a research team from Vetmeduni Vienna confirmed. The researchers also provided the first evidence that females are much more susceptible to Salmonella infection than males. The study was published in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology.

Promiscuity is common among females in the animal kingdom. Mating with multiple males can increase genetic diversity and enhance the survival of the offspring. When given a choice, female house mice mate with multiple males. “The females select their partner on the basis of their scent markings. These chemical signals provide a surprising amount of information about possible partners, including their health and disease resistance,” explains Kerstin Thonhauser of the Konrad Lorenz Institute for Ethology at Vetmeduni Vienna.


Multiple paternity is no advanatge for the offspring of mice in the case of an infection with Salmonella.

Kerstin Thonhauser/Vetmeduni Vienna

The team of researchers led by Dustin Penn explored the previously unanswered question whether polyandry in house mice also offered an advantage in terms of immune resistance. The researchers challenged animals from single- and multiple-sired litters with two different strains of Salmonella: a primary infection, which was harmless, and effectively a vaccine, and then a secondary infection. Prior to the study, there had been little sex-specific data concerning the immune response to Salmonella infection, so the team also considered this question in their study.

Polyandry offered mice no advantages against Salmonella

In general, there was an enormous variation in the bacterial clearance among the mice, and especially among different families, but no difference was found between single- and multiple sired offspring. These results do not support the hypothesis that the increased genetic diversity of multiple-sired litters enhances immune resistance.

Male mice were surprisingly resistant

Among mice, males are usually more susceptible to infectious diseases, yet in the case of Salmonella, however, this proved not to be the case. The immune system of male mice handled this challenge better than the females, as was confirmed by the lower bacterial load among males. No other study to date has demonstrated such a sex-dependent response for Salmonella. Unfortunately, most studies on mice have focused on males, as a way to control for variation in female reproductive cycling, and so we understand little about sex differences. Such sex difference should be considered in future immunological research, says Thonhauser.

Time to reconsider hypotheses on multiple paternity

Nonetheless, Thonhauser and colleagues stress that female promiscuity could still provide immunological benefits for offspring by reducing disease transmission within litters. “There are additional factors to consider. It is possible that a multiple paternity protects litters against challenges from multiple pathogens. Our study was a first step towards testing these more complicated scenarios regarding the advantages of multiple paternity.”

Service
The article “Does multiple paternity influence offspring disease resistance?” by Thonhauser K.E., Raveh S., Thoß M. and Penn D.J. was published in Journal of Evolutionary Biology. doi: 10.1111/jeb.12854
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jeb.12854/full

About the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna
The University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna in Austria is one of the leading academic and research institutions in the field of Veterinary Sciences in Europe. About 1,300 employees and 2,300 students work on the campus in the north of Vienna which also houses five university clinics and various research sites. Outside of Vienna the university operates Teaching and Research Farms. http://www.vetmeduni.ac.at

Scientific Contact:
Kerstin Thonhauser
Konrad Lorenz Institute of Ethology
University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna (Vetmeduni Vienna)
T +43 1 25077-7355
kerstin.thonhauser@vetmeduni.ac.at

Released by:
Georg Mair
Science Communication / Corporate Communications
University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna (Vetmeduni Vienna)
T +43 1 25077-1165
georg.mair@vetmeduni.ac.at

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.vetmeduni.ac.at/en/infoservice/presseinformation/presseinformationen-...

Mag.rer.nat Georg Mair | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Multi-institutional collaboration uncovers how molecular machines assemble
02.12.2016 | Salk Institute

nachricht Fertilized egg cells trigger and monitor loss of sperm’s epigenetic memory
02.12.2016 | IMBA - Institut für Molekulare Biotechnologie der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften GmbH

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>