Jun 12, 2020

Gonads or body? Differences in gonadal and somatic photoperiodic growth response in two vole species.

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Laura van RosmalenR. A. Hut


To optimally time reproduction, seasonal mammals use a photoperiodic neuroendocrine system (PNES) that measures photoperiod and subsequently drives reproduction. To adapt to late spring arrival at northern latitudes, a lower photoperiodic sensitivity and therefore a higher critical photoperiod for reproductive onset is necessary in northern species to arrest reproductive development until spring onset. Temperature-photoperiod relationships, and hence food availability-photoperiod relationships, are highly latitude dependent. Therefore, we predict PNES sensitivity characteristics to be latitude-dependent. Here, we investigated photoperiodic responses at different times during development in northern- (tundra/root vole, Microtus oeconomus) and southern vole species (common vole, Microtus arvalis) exposed to constant short (SP) or long photoperiod (LP). M. oeconomus grows faster under LP, whereas no photoperiodic effect on somatic growth is observed in M. arvalis. Contrastingly, gonadal growth is more sensitive to photoperiod in M. arvalis, suggesting that photoperiodic responses in somatic and gonadal growth can be plastic, and might be regulated through different mechanisms. In both species, thyroid-stimulating-hormone-{beta} su...Continue Reading

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