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Male three-spined sticklebacks Gasterosteus aculeatus make antibiotic nests: a novel form of parental protection?

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2380-2389
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Fish Biology
Volume73
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2008

Abstract

The egg nest of male three-spined sticklebacks Gasterosteus aculeatus is constructed with a glue-like secretion that this study demonstrates has antimicrobial properties. Glue collected from reproductively active males decreased the growth rate of bacteria and opportunistic fungi, and eggs were more likely to mature and hatch after exposure to their father's glue. This phenomenon may represent a direct physiological contribution from a male towards protecting his offspring from pathogens, and if so is a novel form of parental protection.

    Research areas

  • antimicrobial, paternal care, pathogen, stickleback glue, INDIRECT FITNESS CONSEQUENCES, MATE CHOICE, SEXUAL SELECTION, PREFERENCES, MEDICATION, COLORATION, ANTIBODIES, EGGS, CARP, RED

ID: 373921