Maternal allocation of carotenoids to eggs in an Anolis lizardComparative Biochemistry and Physiology, Part A (2018)
The maternal allocation of carotenoids to eggs has been widely documented and manipulated. However, it is often assumed that the sole adaptive value of this allocation is to increase offspring fitness. Because carotenoids can be pro-oxidants or antioxidants depending on their concentrations and their chemical environment (i.e. presence of other antioxidants), dams may need to dispose of excess carotenoids upon depletion of other anti- oxidants to prevent oxidative damage. Additionally, the amount of carotenoids deposited in eggs may be de- pendent on male traits such as quality and coloration. We evaluated these two non-mutually exclusive hy- potheses for carotenoid allocation to eggs and assessed paternal effects by supplementing male and female brown anole lizards, Anolis sagrei, with dietary carotenoids or with a combination of carotenoids and vitamin C. We found significant differences in the antioxidant capacities of fertilized and unfertilized eggs produced by female lizards, but the treatment did not affect the antioxidant capacity or carotenoid content of eggs. However, the carotenoid concentration of unfertilized eggs from carotenoid-supplemented females was significantly higher than eggs from the control group. Male coloration and body size did not affect the antioxidant capacity or carotenoid content of the eggs. Carotenoids may be allocated to unfertilized eggs to offset oxidative damage to the dam, with a neutral effect on offspring, rather than to solely provide antioxidant benefits to offspring as has been widely assumed.
Publication DateWinter January 24, 2018
Citation InformationBeth Reinke, Yasmeen Erritouni and Ryan Calsbeek. "Maternal allocation of carotenoids to eggs in an Anolis lizard" Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, Part A (2018)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/beth-reinke/4/