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Female choice and male humoral immune response in the lekking great snipe (Gallinago media)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Evolution, Population Biology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Evolutionary Biology, Population Biology. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Evolutionary Biology, Evolutionary Biology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Evolutionary Biology, Population Biology.
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2005 (English)In: Behavioral Ecology, ISSN 1045-2249, E-ISSN 1465-7279, Vol. 16, no 2, 346-351 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Parasites and diseases constitute major evolutionary forces in many natural populations, and thus having an efficient immune defense to resist infections is crucial for many organisms. Properties of the immune response may also influence mate choice decisions in many animals. Theory predicts several advantages for females when choosing males with superior immune systems. These benefits can be both direct (e.g. increased paternal care and reduced disease transmission) and indirect (good genes). We have investigated female choice with respect to antibody response to two novel antigens in males of a lekking bird, the great snipe (Gallinago media). Because of the lek mating system, female choice probably mainly incurs indirect (genetic) rather than direct benefits. Males responded to vaccination with diphtheria and tetanus toxoids by producing specific antibodies to both antigens. Triggering the immune system had no negative impact on display activities or survival. Males that were chosen by females as mates had on average higher antibody response to the tetanus antigen than their neighbors. We did not, however, find any covariance between the strength of the antibody response and male mating success.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. Vol. 16, no 2, 346-351 p.
National Category
Natural Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-92222DOI: 10.1093/beheco/arh168OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-92222DiVA: diva2:165216
Available from: 2004-10-22 Created: 2004-10-22 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Immunoecology of the Great Snipe (Gallinago media): Mate Choice, MHC Variation, and Humoral Immunocompetence in a Lekking Bird
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Immunoecology of the Great Snipe (Gallinago media): Mate Choice, MHC Variation, and Humoral Immunocompetence in a Lekking Bird
2004 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

At the centre of the vertebrate immune system is a group of proteins called MHC (major histocompatibility complex) molecules. These function in self – non self recognition and activation of the immune defence against intruding parasites and pathogens. In this thesis I have investigated individual variation in MHC class II genes and antibody producing ability in relation to ecology and behaviour in the great snipe (Gallinago media), a lekking bird, breeding in northern Europe.

There was much variation in the MHC genes of the great snipe and the sequence data show that balancing selection has been acting on these genes. I found genetic differentiation in the MHC between two separate geographic regions of the great snipe distribution. Furthermore, this structure was more pronounced than that previously found in neutral genetic markers, suggesting that different selection pressures (possibly resulting from variation in parasitic fauna) are acting in these different regions.

The birds produced specific antibodies following injection with two novel antigens. Males that were chosen as mates, had higher antibody titers than their neighbouring males, suggesting that this ability may be important in female mate choice. Such choice could give the offspring an enhanced immune system or could favour females directly by avoidance of sexually transmitted diseases.

Females choosing to mate with a male having a different set of MHC genes than their own could give the offspring immune system the ability to react to a wide range of parasites. No such mate choice could, however, be found in the great snipe. Instead, females preferred males with certain MHC alleles, irrespective of their own MHC type. If those alleles confer resistance to parasites currently prevailing in the population, such resistance would be inherited by the offspring, thereby enhancing their fitness.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2004. 55 p.
Series
Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1104-232X ; 1022
Keyword
Biology, Behaviour, Major histocompatibility complex class II B, Sexual selection, Evolution, Leks, Biologi
National Category
Biological Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-4585 (URN)91-554-6057-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2004-11-12, Zootissalen, EBC, Uppsala, 09:15 (English)
Opponent
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Available from: 2004-10-22 Created: 2004-10-22 Last updated: 2009-03-31Bibliographically approved

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Publisher's full texthttp://beheco.oxfordjournals.org/content/16/2/346.full

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Ekblom, RobertHöglund, Jacob

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