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A hormone-related female anti-aphrodisiac signals temporary infertility and causes sexual abstinence to synchronize parental care

Title data

Engel, Katharina C. ; Stökl, Johannes ; Schweizer, Rebecca ; Vogel, Heiko ; Ayasse, Manfred ; Ruther, Joachim ; Steiger, Sandra:
A hormone-related female anti-aphrodisiac signals temporary infertility and causes sexual abstinence to synchronize parental care.
In: Nature Communications. Vol. 7 (2016) . - No. 11035.
ISSN 2041-1723
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms11035

Abstract in another language

The high energetic demand of parental care requires parents to direct their resources towards the support of existing offspring rather than investing into the production of additional young. However, how such a resource flow is channelled appropriately is poorly understood. In this study, we provide the first comprehensive analysis of the physiological mechanisms coordinating parental and mating effort in an insect exhibiting biparental care. We show a hormone-mediated infertility in female burying beetles during the time the current offspring is needy and report that this temporary infertility is communicated via a pheromone to the male partner, where it inhibits copulation. A shared pathway of hormone and pheromone system ensures the reliability of the anti-aphrodisiac. Female infertility and male sexual abstinence provide for the concerted investment of parental resources into the existing developing young. Our study thus contributes to our deeper understanding of the mechanisms underlying adaptive parental decisions.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Additional notes: BAYCEER147438
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Biology > Chair Animal Ecology II - Evolutionary Animal Ecology > Chair Animal Ecology II - Evolutionary Animal Ecology - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Sandra Steiger
Research Institutions
Research Institutions > Research Centres
Research Institutions > Research Centres > Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research- BayCEER
Result of work at the UBT: No
DDC Subjects: 500 Science
Date Deposited: 09 Apr 2019 06:03
Last Modified: 09 Apr 2019 06:03
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/48337