Specific carotenoid pigments in the diet and a bit of oxidative stress in the recipe for producing red carotenoid-based signals

Esther García-de BlasCarlos Alonso-Alvarez


Colorful ornaments have been the focus of sexual selection studies since the work of Darwin. Yellow to red coloration is often produced by carotenoid pigments. Different hypotheses have been formulated to explain the evolution of these traits as signals of individual quality. Many of these hypotheses involve the existence of a signal production cost. The carotenoids necessary for signaling can only be obtained from food. In this line, carotenoid-based signals could reveal an individual's capacity to find sufficient dietary pigments. However, the ingested carotenoids are often yellow and became transformed by the organism to produce pigments of more intense color (red ketocarotenoids). Biotransformation should involve oxidation reactions, although the exact mechanism is poorly known. We tested the hypothesis that carotenoid biotransformation could be costly because a certain level of oxidative stress is required to correctly perform the conversion. The carotenoid-based signals could thus reveal the efficiency of the owner in successfully managing this challenge. In a bird with ketocarotenoid-based ornaments (the red-legged partridge; Alectoris rufa), the availability of different carotenoids in the diet (i.e. astaxanthin, zeaxan...Continue Reading


Sep 1, 1975·Journal of Theoretical Biology·A Zahavi
Sep 1, 1990·FASEB Journal : Official Publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology·A H Brush
Jun 21, 1990·Journal of Theoretical Biology·A Grafen
Apr 22, 1996·FEBS Letters·N J MillerC A Rice-Evans
Mar 7, 1997·The Journal of Biological Chemistry·P D FraserN Misawa
Mar 21, 1997·Journal of Theoretical Biology·O Hasson
May 16, 1998·The Journal of Endocrinology·R A BradburyA D Conigrave
Aug 26, 1998·Molecular Ecology·R GriffithsR J Dawson
Feb 27, 1999·Nutrition Reviews·H van den Berg
Mar 19, 1999·Proceedings. Biological Sciences·T von SchantzH Wittzell
Sep 28, 2000·Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology. Part B, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology·Juan José Negro, Juan Garrido-Fernández
Feb 24, 2001·Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health. Part a·C J SewalkD J Hoffman
Apr 6, 2001·Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology. Part B, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology·Peter F SuraiN H Sparks
Apr 13, 2001·Trends in Ecology & Evolution·Neil B Metcalfe, P Monaghan
May 22, 2001·Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics·A MortensenT G Truscott
May 11, 2002·Environmental Health Perspectives·Jean-François LesgardsMarie-Pascale Lehucher-Michel
Aug 3, 2004·Physiological and Biochemical Zoology : PBZ·Kevin J McGrawRobert S Parker
Oct 14, 2004·Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry·Gianfranco PanfiliMario Irano
Oct 6, 2005·Physiology & Behavior·Kevin J McGraw, Robert S Parker
May 17, 2006·Trends in Ecology & Evolution·Richard C Hartley, Malcolm W Kennedy
May 17, 2006·Trends in Ecology & Evolution·Thomas Getty
Jun 17, 2006·Proceedings. Biological Sciences·Alberto VelandoRoxana Torres
Sep 22, 2006·Antioxidants & Redox Signaling·Dean P Jones
Nov 9, 2006·Evolution; International Journal of Organic Evolution·Carlos Alonso-AlvarezGabriele Sorci
Feb 17, 2007·Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology. Part B, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology·Alan A CohenRobert Ricklefs
Sep 25, 2007·The American Naturalist·Peeter HõrakKersti Zilmer
Nov 22, 2007·Proceedings. Biological Sciences·Caroline Isaksson, Staffan Andersson
Jul 16, 2008·Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology·Adrienne T BlackJeffrey D Laskin
Aug 21, 2008·Journal of Evolutionary Biology·Carlos Alonso-AlvarezJavier Viñuela
Aug 22, 2008·The Journal of Physical Chemistry. a·Ana MartínezMiguel Costas
Oct 22, 2008·Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences·Gabriele Sorci, Bruno Faivre
Mar 28, 2009·Proceedings. Biological Sciences·Damian K Dowling, Leigh W Simmons
Apr 10, 2009·Die Naturwissenschaften·Esther del ValJuan José Negro
May 20, 2009·Antioxidants & Redox Signaling·Ana Clara CristóvãoYoon-Seong Kim
May 21, 2009·Die Naturwissenschaften·Kevin J McGraw
Jun 13, 2009·Proceedings. Biological Sciences·Ismael Galván, Carlos Alonso-Alvarez
Aug 26, 2009·BioEssays : News and Reviews in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology·Lorenzo Pérez-Rodríguez
Nov 20, 2009·Physiological and Biochemical Zoology : PBZ·Carlos Alonso-AlvarezRafael Mateo
May 4, 2010·The Journal of Experimental Biology·Lorenzo Pérez-RodríguezCarlos Alonso-Alvarez
Sep 10, 2010·FASEB Journal : Official Publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology·Liou Y SunRichard A Miller
Sep 21, 2010·Ecology Letters·David CostantiniPat Monaghan
Dec 22, 2010·Toxicology in Vitro : an International Journal Published in Association with BIBRA·Anja WilmesMartin O Leonard
Jan 18, 2011·Journal of Chromatography. B, Analytical Technologies in the Biomedical and Life Sciences·Esther García-de BlasCarlos Alonso-Alvarez
Mar 19, 2011·Food and Chemical Toxicology : an International Journal Published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association·Marumi OhnoMayumi Ishizuka
May 15, 2012·Journal of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences : a Publication of the Canadian Society for Pharmaceutical Sciences, Société Canadienne Des Sciences Pharmaceutiques·Yuki SatoKen Iseki
Oct 17, 2012·The American Naturalist·Geoffrey E Hill, James D Johnson
Jul 16, 2013·Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics·Amy M LaFountainRichard O Prum
Jul 23, 2013·Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology. Part A, Molecular & Integrative Physiology·Mathieu GiraudeauKevin J McGraw
Sep 3, 2013·Physiological and Biochemical Zoology : PBZ·Esther García-de BlasCarlos Alonso-Alvarez
Mar 20, 2014·Physiological and Biochemical Zoology : PBZ·Ana Angela Romero-Haro, Carlos Alonso-Alvarez
May 17, 2014·PloS One·Susanne Jenni-EiermannDavid Costantini
Apr 16, 2016·Physiological and Biochemical Zoology : PBZ·Rebecca E KochGeoffrey E Hill
May 24, 2016·Current Biology : CB·Ricardo J LopesMiguel Carneiro


Sep 19, 2018·The Journal of Experimental Biology·Carlos Alonso-AlvarezRafael Mateo
Feb 7, 2018·Nature Communications·Rebecca E KochGeoffrey E Hill
Jul 18, 2019·Proceedings. Biological Sciences·Claire A McLeanDevi Stuart-Fox
Nov 11, 2020·Proceedings. Biological Sciences·Alejandro CantareroCarlos Alonso-Alvarez

Related Concepts

Amaranth Dye
Biological Markers
Metabolic Biotransformation

Trending Feeds


Coronaviruses encompass a large family of viruses that cause the common cold as well as more serious diseases, such as the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19; formally known as 2019-nCoV). Coronaviruses can spread from animals to humans; symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties; in more severe cases, infection can lead to death. This feed covers recent research on COVID-19.

Synthetic Genetic Array Analysis

Synthetic genetic arrays allow the systematic examination of genetic interactions. Here is the latest research focusing on synthetic genetic arrays and their analyses.

Neural Activity: Imaging

Imaging of neural activity in vivo has developed rapidly recently with the advancement of fluorescence microscopy, including new applications using miniaturized microscopes (miniscopes). This feed follows the progress in this growing field.

Computational Methods for Protein Structures

Computational methods employing machine learning algorithms are powerful tools that can be used to predict the effect of mutations on protein structure. This is important in neurodegenerative disorders, where some mutations can cause the formation of toxic protein aggregations. This feed follows the latests insights into the relationships between mutation and protein structure leading to better understanding of disease.

Congenital Hyperinsulinism

Congenital hyperinsulinism is caused by genetic mutations resulting in excess insulin secretion from beta cells of the pancreas. Here is the latest research.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic fatigue syndrome is a disease characterized by unexplained disabling fatigue; the pathology of which is incompletely understood. Discover the latest research on chronic fatigue syndrome here.

Epigenetic Memory

Epigenetic memory refers to the heritable genetic changes that are not explained by the DNA sequence. Find the latest research on epigenetic memory here.

Cell Atlas of the Human Eye

Constructing a cell atlas of the human eye will require transcriptomic and histologic analysis over the lifespan. This understanding will aid in the study of development and disease. Find the latest research pertaining to the Cell Atlas of the Human Eye here.

Femoral Neoplasms

Femoral Neoplasms are bone tumors that arise in the femur. Discover the latest research on femoral neoplasms here.