Egg and offspring resistance to pathogens is a major determinant of survival and has been mainly ascribed to maternal factors. However, paternal production of antimicrobials was recently suggested to increase offspring survival in species where males perform egg care. 2. In the peacock blenny, Salaria pavo, a demersal spawning species where males exhibit a pair of anal glands producing lysozyme-like compounds, we tested the antimicrobial activity and the egg protection efficacy of these glands. The anal gland secretion (AGS) has an inhibitory effect on the growth of both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria, including those causing the most severe fish diseases in marine culture. The egg clutches cared for by males deprived of anal glands have a significantly lower survival rate than those cared for by sham-operated males and non-viable eggs showed clear signs of bacterial infection. 3. Anal gland secretion production and its protein content are proportional to gland size. In species where male parental care plays a crucial role in offspring survival, females are expected to assess mates selecting those traits that are reliably associated with parental ability. Hence, we experimentally challenged females with dummy males differing in anal gland size. Females definitely preferred dummy males with larger anal glands, suggesting that their choice is driven by the pursuit of direct fecundity benefits. 4. These findings indicate that antimicrobial production is a crucial component of male parental care. The contribution of antimicrobials to male performance as fathers suggests that the development of traits devoted to this function may influence male attractiveness and be sexually selected.
Pizzolon, M., Giacomello, E., Marri, L., Marchini, D., Pascoli, F., Mazzoldi, C., et al. (2010). When fathers make the difference: efficacy of male sexually selected antimicrobial glands in enhancing fish hatching success. FUNCTIONAL ECOLOGY, 24(1), 141-148.
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|Titolo:||When fathers make the difference: efficacy of male sexually selected antimicrobial glands in enhancing fish hatching success.|
|Citazione:||Pizzolon, M., Giacomello, E., Marri, L., Marchini, D., Pascoli, F., Mazzoldi, C., et al. (2010). When fathers make the difference: efficacy of male sexually selected antimicrobial glands in enhancing fish hatching success. FUNCTIONAL ECOLOGY, 24(1), 141-148.|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|