Nematode parasites reduce carotenoid-based signalling in male red grouse

Jesus Martinez-Padilla, Francois Robert Mougeot, Lorenzo Perez-Rodriguez, Gary R. Bortolotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

66 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Carotenoids determine the yellow-red colours of many ornaments, which often function as signals of quality. Carotenoid-based signalling may reliably advertise health and should be particularly sensitive to parasite infections. Nematodes are among the commonest parasites of vertebrates, with well-documented negative effects on their hosts. However, to date, little is known about the effects that these parasites may have on carotenoid-based signalling. Tetraonid birds (grouse) exhibit supra-orbital combs, which are bright integumentary ornaments pigmented by carotenoids. We tested the effect of the nematode parasite Trichostrongylus tenuis on signalling in free-living male red grouse Lagopus lagopus scoticus. We show that experimentally reduced nematode infection increases plasma carotenoid concentration and comb redness, demonstrating for the first time that nematodes can influence carotenoid-based signals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-164
Number of pages4
JournalBiology Letters
Volume3
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Apr 2007

Keywords

  • carotenoids
  • comb
  • nematodes
  • red grouse Lagopus lagopus scoticus
  • Trichostrongylus tenuis
  • sexual attractiveness
  • coloration
  • immunocompetence
  • testosterone
  • finches

Cite this

Martinez-Padilla, J., Mougeot, F. R., Perez-Rodriguez, L., & Bortolotti, G. R. (2007). Nematode parasites reduce carotenoid-based signalling in male red grouse. Biology Letters, 3(2), 161-164. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2006.0593

Nematode parasites reduce carotenoid-based signalling in male red grouse. / Martinez-Padilla, Jesus; Mougeot, Francois Robert; Perez-Rodriguez, Lorenzo; Bortolotti, Gary R.

In: Biology Letters, Vol. 3, No. 2, 22.04.2007, p. 161-164.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Martinez-Padilla, J, Mougeot, FR, Perez-Rodriguez, L & Bortolotti, GR 2007, 'Nematode parasites reduce carotenoid-based signalling in male red grouse', Biology Letters, vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 161-164. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2006.0593
Martinez-Padilla J, Mougeot FR, Perez-Rodriguez L, Bortolotti GR. Nematode parasites reduce carotenoid-based signalling in male red grouse. Biology Letters. 2007 Apr 22;3(2):161-164. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2006.0593
Martinez-Padilla, Jesus ; Mougeot, Francois Robert ; Perez-Rodriguez, Lorenzo ; Bortolotti, Gary R. / Nematode parasites reduce carotenoid-based signalling in male red grouse. In: Biology Letters. 2007 ; Vol. 3, No. 2. pp. 161-164.
@article{7d77b0bafb5c4bba9373d33191b812d5,
title = "Nematode parasites reduce carotenoid-based signalling in male red grouse",
abstract = "Carotenoids determine the yellow-red colours of many ornaments, which often function as signals of quality. Carotenoid-based signalling may reliably advertise health and should be particularly sensitive to parasite infections. Nematodes are among the commonest parasites of vertebrates, with well-documented negative effects on their hosts. However, to date, little is known about the effects that these parasites may have on carotenoid-based signalling. Tetraonid birds (grouse) exhibit supra-orbital combs, which are bright integumentary ornaments pigmented by carotenoids. We tested the effect of the nematode parasite Trichostrongylus tenuis on signalling in free-living male red grouse Lagopus lagopus scoticus. We show that experimentally reduced nematode infection increases plasma carotenoid concentration and comb redness, demonstrating for the first time that nematodes can influence carotenoid-based signals.",
keywords = "carotenoids, comb, nematodes, red grouse Lagopus lagopus scoticus, Trichostrongylus tenuis, sexual attractiveness, coloration, immunocompetence, testosterone, finches",
author = "Jesus Martinez-Padilla and Mougeot, {Francois Robert} and Lorenzo Perez-Rodriguez and Bortolotti, {Gary R.}",
year = "2007",
month = "4",
day = "22",
doi = "10.1098/rsbl.2006.0593",
language = "English",
volume = "3",
pages = "161--164",
journal = "Biology Letters",
issn = "1744-9561",
publisher = "ROYAL SOC CHEMISTRY",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Nematode parasites reduce carotenoid-based signalling in male red grouse

AU - Martinez-Padilla, Jesus

AU - Mougeot, Francois Robert

AU - Perez-Rodriguez, Lorenzo

AU - Bortolotti, Gary R.

PY - 2007/4/22

Y1 - 2007/4/22

N2 - Carotenoids determine the yellow-red colours of many ornaments, which often function as signals of quality. Carotenoid-based signalling may reliably advertise health and should be particularly sensitive to parasite infections. Nematodes are among the commonest parasites of vertebrates, with well-documented negative effects on their hosts. However, to date, little is known about the effects that these parasites may have on carotenoid-based signalling. Tetraonid birds (grouse) exhibit supra-orbital combs, which are bright integumentary ornaments pigmented by carotenoids. We tested the effect of the nematode parasite Trichostrongylus tenuis on signalling in free-living male red grouse Lagopus lagopus scoticus. We show that experimentally reduced nematode infection increases plasma carotenoid concentration and comb redness, demonstrating for the first time that nematodes can influence carotenoid-based signals.

AB - Carotenoids determine the yellow-red colours of many ornaments, which often function as signals of quality. Carotenoid-based signalling may reliably advertise health and should be particularly sensitive to parasite infections. Nematodes are among the commonest parasites of vertebrates, with well-documented negative effects on their hosts. However, to date, little is known about the effects that these parasites may have on carotenoid-based signalling. Tetraonid birds (grouse) exhibit supra-orbital combs, which are bright integumentary ornaments pigmented by carotenoids. We tested the effect of the nematode parasite Trichostrongylus tenuis on signalling in free-living male red grouse Lagopus lagopus scoticus. We show that experimentally reduced nematode infection increases plasma carotenoid concentration and comb redness, demonstrating for the first time that nematodes can influence carotenoid-based signals.

KW - carotenoids

KW - comb

KW - nematodes

KW - red grouse Lagopus lagopus scoticus

KW - Trichostrongylus tenuis

KW - sexual attractiveness

KW - coloration

KW - immunocompetence

KW - testosterone

KW - finches

U2 - 10.1098/rsbl.2006.0593

DO - 10.1098/rsbl.2006.0593

M3 - Article

VL - 3

SP - 161

EP - 164

JO - Biology Letters

JF - Biology Letters

SN - 1744-9561

IS - 2

ER -