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Bigger mothers are better mothers : Disentangling size-related prenatal and postnatal maternal effects

Title data

Steiger, Sandra:
Bigger mothers are better mothers : Disentangling size-related prenatal and postnatal maternal effects.
In: Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B : Biological Sciences. Vol. 280 (2013) . - No. 20131225.
ISSN 1471-2954
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2013.1225

Abstract in another language

Despite a vast literature on the factors controlling adult size, few studies have investigated how maternal size affects offspring size independent of direct genetic effects, thereby separating prenatal from postnatal influences. I used a novel experimental design that combined a cross-fostering approach with phenotypic manipulation of maternal body size that allowed me to disentangle prenatal and postnatal maternal effects. Using the burying beetle Nicrophorus vespilloides as model organism, I found that a mother's body size affected egg size as well as the quality of postnatal maternal care, with larger mothers producing larger eggs and raising larger offspring than smaller females. However, with respect to the relative importance of prenatal and postnatal maternal effects on offspring growth, only the postnatal effects were important in determining offspring body size. Thus, prenatal effects can be offset by the quality of postnatal maternal care. This finding has implications for the coevolution of prenatal and postnatal maternal effects as they arise as a consequence of maternal body size. In general, my study provides evidence that there can be transgenerational phenotypic plasticity, with maternal size determining offspring size leading to a resemblance between mothers and their offspring above and beyond any direct genetic effects.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Additional notes: BAYCEER147478
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: 12 Apr 2019 12:16
Last Modified: 12 Apr 2019 12:16
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/48365