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Sample records for sexually dimorphic modifications

  1. Sexual dimorphism in Ramapithecinae

    PubMed Central

    Kay, Richard F.

    1982-01-01

    The Ramapithecinae are an extinct, mainly Miocene group of hominoids comprising the genera Sivapithecus and Gigantopithecus. Ouranopithecus and Ramapithecus are other included genera, here regarded as invalid. Cladistically, ramapithecines are hominid, although, in most aspects of their anatomy, they remain very primitive or ape-like. Miocene ramapithecines show reduced sexual dimorphism in canine size. In this respect they resemble Pliocene/Recent hominids, not extant great apes (which have highly dimorphic canines). Reduced dimorphism in canine size is an important shared derived feature indicating the hominid status of ramapithecines. Among living anthropoids, a significant association has been observed between a monogamous social structure and low canine dimorphism. This supports the inference that ramapithecines may have been monogamous. PMID:16593143

  2. Sexual dimorphism in Ramapithecinae.

    PubMed

    Kay, R F

    1982-01-01

    The Ramapithecinae are an extinct, mainly Miocene group of hominoids comprising the genera Sivapithecus and Gigantopithecus. Ouranopithecus and Ramapithecus are other included genera, here regarded as invalid. Cladistically, ramapithecines are hominid, although, in most aspects of their anatomy, they remain very primitive or ape-like. Miocene ramapithecines show reduced sexual dimorphism in canine size. In this respect they resemble Pliocene/Recent hominids, not extant great apes (which have highly dimorphic canines). Reduced dimorphism in canine size is an important shared derived feature indicating the hominid status of ramapithecines. Among living anthropoids, a significant association has been observed between a monogamous social structure and low canine dimorphism. This supports the inference that ramapithecines may have been monogamous. PMID:16593143

  3. Sexual dimorphism of body composition.

    PubMed

    Wells, Jonathan C K

    2007-09-01

    Sexual dimorphism in human body composition is evident from fetal life, but emerges primarily during puberty. At birth, males have a similar fat mass to females but are longer and have greater lean mass. Such differences remain detectable during childhood; however, females enter puberty earlier and undergo a more rapid pubertal transition, whereas boys have a substantially longer growth period. After adjusting for dimorphism in size (height), adult males have greater total lean mass and mineral mass, and a lower fat mass than females. These whole-body differences are complemented by major differences in tissue distribution. Adult males have greater arm muscle mass, larger and stronger bones, and reduced limb fat, but a similar degree of central abdominal fat. Females have a more peripheral distribution of fat in early adulthood; however, greater parity and the menopause both induce a more android fat distribution with increasing age. Sex differences in body composition are primarily attributable to the action of sex steroid hormones, which drive the dimorphisms during pubertal development. Oestrogen is important not only in body fat distribution but also in the female pattern of bone development that predisposes to a greater female risk of osteoporosis in old age. Disorders of sex development are associated with significant abnormalities of body composition, attributable largely to their impact on mechanisms of hormonal regulation. PMID:17875489

  4. Sexual dimorphism and human enhancement.

    PubMed

    Casal, Paula

    2013-12-01

    Robert Sparrow argues that because of women's longer life expectancy philosophers who advocate the genetic modification of human beings to enhance welfare rather than merely supply therapy are committed to favouring the selection of only female embryos, an implication he deems sufficiently implausible to discredit their position. If Sparrow's argument succeeds, then philosophers who advocate biomedical moral enhancement also seem vulnerable to a similar charge because of men's greater propensity for various forms of harmful wrongdoing. This paper argues there are various flaws in Sparrow's argument that render it unsuccessful. The paper also examines whether dimorphism reduction is a more desirable outcome than male elimination, thereby further illustrating the difficulties besetting the distinction between therapy and enhancement. PMID:22962068

  5. Modular genetic control of sexually dimorphic behaviors

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Xiaohong; Coats, Jennifer K.; Yang, Cindy F.; Wang, Amy; Ahmed, Osama M.; Alvarado, Maricruz; Izumi, Tetsuro; Shah, Nirao M.

    2012-01-01

    SUMMARY Sex hormones such as estrogen and testosterone are essential for sexually dimorphic behaviors in vertebrates. However, the hormone-activated molecular mechanisms that control the development and function of the underlying neural circuits remain poorly defined. We have identified numerous sexually dimorphic gene expression patterns in the adult mouse hypothalamus and amygdala. We find that adult sex hormones regulate these expression patterns in a sex-specific, regionally-restricted manner, suggesting that these genes regulate sex typical behaviors. Indeed, we find that mice with targeted disruptions of each of four of these genes (Brs3, Cckar, Irs4, Sytl4) exhibit extremely specific deficits in sex specific behaviors, with single genes controlling the pattern or extent of male sexual behavior, male aggression, maternal behavior, or female sexual behavior. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that various components of sexually dimorphic behaviors are governed by separable genetic programs. PMID:22304924

  6. The sexual dimorphism of obesity

    PubMed Central

    Palmer, Biff F.; Clegg, Deborah J.

    2015-01-01

    The NIH has recently highlighted the importance of sexual dimorphisms and has mandated inclusion of both sexes in clinical trials and basic research. In this review we highlight new and novel ways sex hormones influence body adiposity and the metabolic syndrome. Understanding how and why metabolic processes differ by sex will enable clinicians to target and personalize therapies based on gender. Adipose tissue function and deposition differ by sex. Females differ with respect to distribution of adipose tissues, males tend to accrue more visceral fat, leading to the classic android body shape which has been highly correlated to increased cardiovascular risk; whereas females accrue more fat in the subcutaneous depot prior to menopause, a feature which affords protection from the negative consequences associated with obesity and the metabolic syndrome. After menopause, fat deposition and accrual shift to favor the visceral depot. This shift is accompanied by a parallel increase in metabolic risk reminiscent to that seen in men. A full understanding of the physiology behind why, and by what mechanisms, adipose tissues accumulate in specific depots and how these depots differ metabolically by sex is important in efforts of prevention of obesity and chronic disease. Estrogens, directly or through activation of their receptors on adipocytes and in adipose tissues, facilitate adipose tissue deposition and function. Evidence suggests that estrogens augment the sympathetic tone differentially to the adipose tissue depots favoring lipid accumulation in the subcutaneous depot in women and visceral fat deposition in men. At the level of adipocyte function, estrogens and their receptors influence the expandability of fat cells enhancing the expandability in the subcutaneous depot and inhibiting it in the visceral depot. Sex hormones clearly influence adipose tissue function and deposition, determining how to capture and utilize their function in a time of caloric surfeit

  7. Human sexual size dimorphism in early pregnancy.

    PubMed

    Bukowski, Radek; Smith, Gordon C S; Malone, Fergal D; Ball, Robert H; Nyberg, David A; Comstock, Christine H; Hankins, Gary D V; Berkowitz, Richard L; Gross, Susan J; Dugoff, Lorraine; Craigo, Sabrina D; Timor-Tritsch, Ilan E; Carr, Stephen R; Wolfe, Honor M; D'Alton, Mary E

    2007-05-15

    Sexual size dimorphism is thought to contribute to the greater mortality and morbidity of men compared with women. However, the timing of onset of sexual size dimorphism remains uncertain. The authors determined whether human fetuses exhibit sexual size dimorphism in the first trimester of pregnancy. Using a prospective cohort study, conducted in 1999-2002 in the United States, they identified 27,655 women who conceived spontaneously and 1,008 whose conception was assisted by in vitro fertilization or intrauterine insemination and for whom a first-trimester measurement of fetal crown-rump length was available. First-trimester size was expressed as the difference between the observed and expected size of the fetus, expressed as equivalence to days of gestational age. The authors evaluated the association between fetal sex, first-trimester size, and birth weight. Eight to 12 weeks after conception, males were larger than females (mean difference: assisted conception = 0.4 days, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.1, 0.7, p = 0.008; spontaneous conception = 0.3 days, 95% CI: 0.2, 0.4, p < 0.00001). The size discrepancy remained significant at birth (mean birth weight difference: assisted conception = 90 g, 95% CI: 22, 159, p = 0.009; spontaneous conception = 120 g, 95% CI: 107, 132, p < 0.00001). These data demonstrate that human fetuses exhibit sexual size dimorphism in the first trimester of pregnancy. PMID:17344203

  8. Protandry, sexual size dimorphism, and adaptive growth.

    PubMed

    Morbey, Yolanda E

    2013-12-21

    Adaptive growth refers to the strategic adjustment of growth rate by individuals to maximize some component of fitness. The concept of adaptive growth proliferated in the 1990s, in part due to an influential theoretical paper by Peter Abrams and colleagues. In their 1996 paper, Abrams et al. explored the effects of time stress on optimal growth rate, development time, and adult size in seasonal organisms. In this review, I explore how the concept of adaptive growth informs our understanding of protandry (the earlier arrival of males to sites of reproduction than females) and sexual size dimorphism in seasonal organisms. I conclude that growth rate variation is an important mechanism that helps to conserve optimal levels of protandry and sexual size dimorphism in changing environments. PMID:23688825

  9. Mammalian meiotic silencing exhibits sexually dimorphic features.

    PubMed

    Cloutier, J M; Mahadevaiah, S K; ElInati, E; Tóth, A; Turner, James

    2016-06-01

    During mammalian meiotic prophase I, surveillance mechanisms exist to ensure that germ cells with defective synapsis or recombination are eliminated, thereby preventing the generation of aneuploid gametes and embryos. Meiosis in females is more error-prone than in males, and this is in part because the prophase I surveillance mechanisms are less efficient in females. A mechanistic understanding of this sexual dimorphism is currently lacking. In both sexes, asynapsed chromosomes are transcriptionally inactivated by ATR-dependent phosphorylation of histone H2AFX. This process, termed meiotic silencing, has been proposed to perform an important prophase I surveillance role. While the transcriptional effects of meiotic silencing at individual genes are well described in the male germ line, analogous studies in the female germ line have not been performed. Here we apply single- and multigene RNA fluorescence in situ hybridization (RNA FISH) to oocytes from chromosomally abnormal mouse models to uncover potential sex differences in the silencing response. Notably, we find that meiotic silencing in females is less efficient than in males. Within individual oocytes, genes located on the same asynapsed chromosome are silenced to differing extents, thereby generating mosaicism in gene expression profiles across oocyte populations. Analysis of sex-reversed XY female mice reveals that the sexual dimorphism in silencing is determined by gonadal sex rather than sex chromosome constitution. We propose that sex differences in meiotic silencing impact on the sexually dimorphic prophase I response to asynapsis. PMID:26712235

  10. Parasitism and the expression of sexual dimorphism.

    PubMed

    De Lisle, Stephen P; Rowe, Locke

    2015-02-01

    Although a negative covariance between parasite load and sexually selected trait expression is a requirement of few sexual selection models, such a covariance may be a general result of life-history allocation trade-offs. If both allocation to sexually selected traits and to somatic maintenance (immunocompetence) are condition dependent, then in populations where individuals vary in condition, a positive covariance between trait expression and immunocompetence, and thus a negative covariance between trait and parasite load, is expected. We test the prediction that parasite load is generally related to the expression of sexual dimorphism across two breeding seasons in a wild salamander population and show that males have higher trematode parasite loads for their body size than females and that a key sexually selected trait covaries negatively with parasite load in males. We found evidence of a weaker negative relationship between the analogous female trait and parasite infection. These results underscore that parasite infection may covary with expression of sexually selected traits, both within and among species, regardless of the model of sexual selection, and also suggest that the evolution of condition dependence in males may affect the evolution of female trait expression. PMID:25750721

  11. Mimetic butterflies support Wallace's model of sexual dimorphism.

    PubMed

    Kunte, Krushnamegh

    2008-07-22

    Theoretical and empirical observations generally support Darwin's view that sexual dimorphism evolves due to sexual selection on, and deviation in, exaggerated male traits. Wallace presented a radical alternative, which is largely untested, that sexual dimorphism results from naturally selected deviation in protective female coloration. This leads to the prediction that deviation in female rather than male phenotype causes sexual dimorphism. Here I test Wallace's model of sexual dimorphism by tracing the evolutionary history of Batesian mimicry-an example of naturally selected protective coloration-on a molecular phylogeny of Papilio butterflies. I show that sexual dimorphism in Papilio is significantly correlated with both female-limited Batesian mimicry, where females are mimetic and males are non-mimetic, and with the deviation of female wing colour patterns from the ancestral patterns conserved in males. Thus, Wallace's model largely explains sexual dimorphism in Papilio. This finding, along with indirect support from recent studies on birds and lizards, suggests that Wallace's model may be more widely useful in explaining sexual dimorphism. These results also highlight the contribution of naturally selected female traits in driving phenotypic divergence between species, instead of merely facilitating the divergence in male sexual traits as described by Darwin's model. PMID:18426753

  12. Developmental basis of sexually dimorphic digit ratios

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Zhengui; Cohn, Martin J.

    2011-01-01

    Males and females generally have different finger proportions. In males, digit 2 is shorter than digit 4, but in females digit 2 is the same length or longer than digit 4. The second- to fourth-digit (2D:4D) ratio correlates with numerous sexually dimorphic behavioral and physiological conditions. Although correlational studies suggest that digit ratios reflect prenatal exposure to androgen, the developmental mechanism underlying sexually dimorphic digit development remains unknown. Here we report that the 2D:4D ratio in mice is controlled by the balance of androgen to estrogen signaling during a narrow window of digit development. Androgen receptor (AR) and estrogen receptor α (ER-α) activity is higher in digit 4 than in digit 2. Inactivation of AR decreases growth of digit 4, which causes a higher 2D:4D ratio, whereas inactivation of ER-α increases growth of digit 4, which leads to a lower 2D:4D ratio. We also show that addition of androgen has the same effect as inactivation of ER and that addition of estrogen mimics the reduction of AR. Androgen and estrogen differentially regulate the network of genes that controls chondrocyte proliferation, leading to differential growth of digit 4 in males and females. These studies identify previously undescribed molecular dimorphisms between male and female limb buds and provide experimental evidence that the digit ratio is a lifelong signature of prenatal hormonal exposure. Our results also suggest that the 2D:4D ratio can serve as an indicator of disrupted endocrine signaling during early development, which may aid in the identification of fetal origins of adult diseases. PMID:21896736

  13. Early evolution of sexual dimorphism and polygyny in Pinnipedia.

    PubMed

    Cullen, Thomas M; Fraser, Danielle; Rybczynski, Natalia; Schröder-Adams, Claudia

    2014-05-01

    Sexual selection is one of the earliest areas of interest in evolutionary biology. And yet, the evolutionary history of sexually dimorphic traits remains poorly characterized for most vertebrate lineages. Here, we report on evidence for the early evolution of dimorphism within a model mammal group, the pinnipeds. Pinnipeds show a range of sexual dimorphism and mating systems that span the extremes of modern mammals, from monomorphic taxa with isolated and dispersed mating to extreme size dimorphism with highly ordered polygynous harem systems. In addition, the degree of dimorphism in pinnipeds is closely tied to mating system, with strongly dimorphic taxa always exhibiting a polygynous system, and more monomorphic taxa possessing weakly polygynous systems. We perform a comparative morphological description, and provide evidence of extreme sexual dimorphism (similar to sea lions), in the Miocene-aged basal pinniped taxon Enaliarctos emlongi. Using a geometric morphometric approach and combining both modern and fossil taxa we show a close correlation between mating system and sex-related cranial dimorphism, and also reconstruct the ancestral mating system of extant pinnipeds as highly polygynous. The results suggest that sexual dimorphism and extreme polygyny in pinnipeds arose by 27 Ma, in association with changing climatic conditions. PMID:24548136

  14. Patterns of sexual dimorphism in body weight among prosimian primates.

    PubMed

    Kappeler, P M

    1991-01-01

    Many primatologists believe that there is no sexual dimorphism in body size in prosimian primates. Because this belief is based upon data that came from only a few species and were largely flawed in some aspect of sample quality, I re-examined the extent of sexual dimorphism in body weight, using weights of 791 adult prosimians from 34 taxa recorded over the last 17 years at the Duke University Primate Center. There was no significant sex difference in body weight in 17 species, but males were significantly larger in Nycticebus pygmaeus, Tarsius syrichta, Galago moholi, Galagoides demidovii, Otolemur crassicaudatus and Otolemur garnettii. Moreover, females were significantly larger in Microcebus murinus. Thus, the general lack of sexual dimorphism could be confirmed, notably for lemurs, but prosimians as a group show more variability in sexual size dimorphism than was previously thought. After including previously published data obtained in the wild from 8 additional species, I found significant heterogeneity in the degree of sexual dimorphism at the family level, but only the Indridae and Galagidae were significantly different from each other. Among the prosimian infraorders, the Lorisiformes were significantly more dimorphic than the Lemuriformes. Differences in dimorphism between higher taxonomic groups are discussed in the context of prosimian evolution, concluding that phylogenetic inertia cannot provide a causal explanation for the evolution of sexual dimorphism. The relative monomorphism of most prosimians may be related to allometric constraints and, especially in the Lemuriformes, to selective forces affecting male and female behavioral strategies. PMID:1794769

  15. Evidence for ecological causation of sexual dimorphism in a hummingbird.

    PubMed

    Temeles, E J; Pan, I L; Brennan, J L; Horwitt, J N

    2000-07-21

    Unambiguous examples of ecological causes of animal sexual dimorphism are rare. Here we present evidence for ecological causation of sexual dimorphism in the bill morphology of a hummingbird, the purple-throated carib. This hummingbird is the sole pollinator of two Heliconia species whose flowers correspond to the bills of either males or females. Each sex feeds most quickly at the flower species approximating its bill dimensions, which supports the hypothesis that floral specialization has driven the evolution of bill dimorphism. Further evidence for ecological causation of sexual dimorphism was provided by a geographic replacement of one Heliconia species by the other and the subsequent development of a floral dimorphism, with one floral morph matching the bills of males and the other of females. PMID:10903203

  16. Sexual dimorphism in skeletal muscle protein turnover.

    PubMed

    Smith, Gordon I; Mittendorfer, Bettina

    2016-03-15

    Skeletal muscle is the major constituent of lean body mass and essential for the body's locomotor function. Women have less muscle mass (and more body fat) than men and are therefore not able to exert the same absolute maximal force as men. The difference in body composition between the sexes is evident from infancy but becomes most marked after puberty (when boys experience an accelerated growth spurt) and persists into old age. During early adulthood until approximately the fourth decade of life, muscle mass is relatively stable, both in men and women, but then begins to decline, and the rate of loss is slower in women than in men. In this review we discuss the underlying mechanisms responsible for the age-associated sexual dimorphism in muscle mass (as far as they have been elucidated to date) and highlight areas that require more research to advance our understanding of the control of muscle mass throughout life. PMID:26702024

  17. Interpreting hominid behavior on the basis of sexual dimorphism.

    PubMed

    Plavcan, J M; van Schaik, C P

    1997-04-01

    Numerous studies use estimates of sexual dimorphism in canine tooth size and body weight to support speculation about the behavior of australopithecines. However, the range of mating systems inferred for australopithecines encompasses virtually the entire spectrum of mating systems seen among extant anthropoid primates, from monogamy to polygyny characterized by intense male male competition. This variety of opinion can be attributed partly to the unusual combination of high body size dimorphism and reduced canine dimorphism in australopithecines. Here we provide a joint comparison of recent models for the behavioral correlates of both canine dimorphism and body size dimorphism, and apply this to published estimates of dimorphism in body size and canine tooth size in hominids. Among extant species, body weight dimorphism and canine dimorphism are strongly correlated with estimates of intrasexual competition. Canine crown height dimorphism provides the best discrimination between taxa that show high degrees of male-male competition, and those that do not. Relative male maxillary canine tooth size offers additional evidence about male-male competition. On the other hand, canine occlusal dimorphism offers little discrimination among species of different male-male competition levels. Estimates of canine dimorphism, relative canine size, and body weight dimorphism in australopithecines provide little definitive information about male-male competition or mating systems. Dimorphism of Australopithecus africanus and Australopithecus robustus can be reconciled with a mating system characterized by low-intensity male-male competition. The pattern of dimorphism and relative canine size in Australopithecus afarensis and A. robustus provides contradictory evidence about mating systems and male-male competition. We review a number of hypotheses that may explain the unusual pattern of dimorphism of A. afarensis and Australopithecus boisei, but non-satisfactorily resolves the

  18. Sexual Dimorphism: How Female Cells Win the Race.

    PubMed

    Deng, Hansong; Jasper, Heinrich

    2016-03-01

    Sexual dimorphisms are established by sex determination pathways and are maintained during regeneration of adult tissues. Two recent studies in Drosophila elucidate the contribution of cell-autonomous and endocrine mechanisms to the establishment and maintenance of growth dimorphism in larvae and the adult intestine. PMID:26954444

  19. Sexually dimorphic actions of glucocorticoids: beyond chromosomes and sex hormones.

    PubMed

    Quinn, Matthew; Ramamoorthy, Sivapriya; Cidlowski, John A

    2014-05-01

    Sexual dimorphism is a well-documented phenomenon that is observed at all levels of the animal kingdom. Historically, sex hormones (testosterone and estrogen) have been implicated as key players in a wide array of pathologies displaying sexual dimorphism in their etiology and progression. While these hormones clearly contribute to sexually dimorphic diseases, other factors may be involved in this phenomenon as well. In particular, the stress hormone cortisol exerts differential effects in both males and females. The underlying molecular basis for the sexually dimorphic actions of glucocorticoids is unknown but clearly important to understand, since synthetic glucocorticoids are the most widely prescribed medication for the treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases and hematological cancers in humans. PMID:24739020

  20. Mandibular sexual dimorphism analysis in CBCT scans.

    PubMed

    Gamba, Thiago de Oliveira; Alves, Marcelo Corrêa; Haiter-Neto, Francisco

    2016-02-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate sexual dimorphism using anthropometric measurements on mandibular images obtained by cone beam computed tomography (CBCT). The sample consisted of 160 CT scans collected from a Brazilian population (74 males, 86 females) aged 18-60 years. The CBCT images were analyzed by five reviewers. Six measurements (ramus length, gonion-gnathion length, minimum ramus breadth, gonial angle, bicondylar breadth, and bigonial breadth) were collected for the sexual prediction analysis. For the statistical analysis, intraclass correlation was used to evaluate intra- and inter-reviewers, analysis of variance was used to compare the mean values of these measurements, binary logistic regression equations were created to predict sex. Using these four variables, the rate of correct sex classification was 95.1%. After, the discriminant function was used to validate the formula built. Accuracy of 93.33% and 94.74% was found for estimating male and females, respectively. Thus, the formula developed in this study can be used for sex estimation in forensic settings. PMID:26773251

  1. Perinatal modification of a sexually dimorphic motor nucleus in the spinal cord of the B6D2F1 house mouse.

    PubMed

    Wagner, C K; Clemens, L G

    1989-04-01

    The sexually dimorphic dorsomedial nucleus (DM) of the spinal cord of mice is affected by gonadal steroids in adulthood and these effects are dependent upon genotype. Following castration of adult mice there is a decrease in DM cell size in DBA/2J and hybrid B6D2F1 strains and a decrease in the number of cells staining with thionin in C57B1/6J and B6D2F1 strains. The effects of androgens on development of the DM nucleus were examined in B6D2F1 mice, which exhibit both characteristics in adulthood. Testosterone propionate (TP) administered to females pre- or postnatally resulted in a significantly larger number of motoneurons in the region of the DM when compared to administration of the vehicle alone, while soma area remained unchanged. Adult males castrated on the day of birth had significantly fewer cells in the DM than did intact males. Differences in cell size between shams and castrates were dependent upon age. PMID:2780856

  2. Heterospecific interactions and the proliferation of sexually dimorphic traits.

    PubMed

    Pfennig, Karin S; Hurlbert, Allen H

    2012-02-01

    Sexual selection is expected to promote speciation by fostering the evolution of sexual traits that minimize reproductive interactions among existing or incipient species. In species that compete for access to, or attention of, females, sexual selection fosters more elaborate traits in males compared to females. If these traits also minimize reproductive interactions with heterospecifics, then species with enhanced risk of interactions between species might display greater numbers of these sexual dimorphic characters. We tested this prediction in eight families of North American birds. In particular, we evaluated whether the number of sexually dimorphic traits was positively associated with species richness at a given site or with degree of sympatry with congeners. We found no strong evidence of enhanced sexual dimorphism with increasing confamilial species richness at a given site. We also found no overall relationship between the number of sexually dimorphic traits and overlap with congeners across these eight families. However, we found patterns consistent with our prediction within Anatidae (ducks, geese and swans) and, to a lesser degree, Parulidae (New World warblers). Our results suggest that sexually selected plumage traits in these groups potentially play a role in reproductive isolation. PMID:24639684

  3. Sexually antagonistic epigenetic marks that canalize sexually dimorphic development.

    PubMed

    Rice, William R; Friberg, Urban; Gavrilets, Sergey

    2016-04-01

    The sexes share the same autosomal genomes, yet sexual dimorphism is common due to sex-specific gene expression. When present, XX and XY karyotypes trigger alternate regulatory cascades that determine sex-specific gene expression profiles. In mammals, secretion of testosterone (T) by the testes during foetal development is the master switch influencing the gene expression pathways (male vs. female) that will be followed, but many genes have sex-specific expression prior to T secretion. Environmental factors, like endocrine disruptors and mimics, can interfere with sexual development. However, sex-specific ontogeny can be canalized by the production of epigenetic marks (epimarks) generated during early ontogeny that increase sensitivity of XY embryos to T and decrease sensitivity of XX embryos. Here, we integrate and synthesize the evidence indicating that canalizing epimarks are produced during early ontogeny. We will also describe the evidence that such epimarks sometimes carry over across generations and produce mosaicism in which some traits are discordant with the gonad. Such carryover epimarks are sexually antagonistic because they benefit the individual in which they were formed (via canalization) but harm opposite-sex offspring when they fail to erase across generations and produce gonad-trait discordances. SA-epimarks have the potential to: i) magnify phenotypic variation for many sexually selected traits, ii) generate overlap along many dimensions of the masculinity/femininity spectrum, and iii) influence medically important gonad-trait discordances like cryptorchidism, hypospadias and idiopathic hirsutism. PMID:26600375

  4. The Dilemma of Choosing a Reference Character for Measuring Sexual Size Dimorphism, Sexual Body Component Dimorphism, and Character Scaling: Cryptic Dimorphism and Allometry in the Scorpion Hadrurus arizonensis

    PubMed Central

    Fox, Gerad A.; Cooper, Allen M.; Hayes, William K.

    2015-01-01

    Sexual differences in morphology, ranging from subtle to extravagant, occur commonly in many animal species. These differences can encompass overall body size (sexual size dimorphism, SSD) or the size and/or shape of specific body parts (sexual body component dimorphism, SBCD). Interacting forces of natural and sexual selection shape much of the expression of dimorphism we see, though non-adaptive processes may be involved. Differential scaling of individual features can result when selection favors either exaggerated (positive allometry) or reduced (negative allometry) size during growth. Studies of sexual dimorphism and character scaling rely on multivariate models that ideally use an unbiased reference character as an overall measure of body size. We explored several candidate reference characters in a cryptically dimorphic taxon, Hadrurus arizonensis. In this scorpion, essentially every body component among the 16 we examined could be interpreted as dimorphic, but identification of SSD and SBCD depended on which character was used as the reference (prosoma length, prosoma area, total length, principal component 1, or metasoma segment 1 width). Of these characters, discriminant function analysis suggested that metasoma segment 1 width was the most appropriate. The pattern of dimorphism in H. arizonensis mirrored that seen in other more obviously dimorphic scorpions, with static allometry trending towards isometry in most characters. Our findings are consistent with the conclusions of others that fecundity selection likely favors a larger prosoma in female scorpions, whereas sexual selection may favor other body parts being larger in males, especially the metasoma, pectines, and possibly the chela. For this scorpion and probably most other organisms, the choice of reference character profoundly affects interpretations of SSD, SBCD, and allometry. Thus, researchers need to broaden their consideration of an appropriate reference and exercise caution in interpreting

  5. Review on the use of sexually dimorphic characters in the taxonomy of Diabroticites (Galerucinae, Luperini, Diabroticina).

    PubMed

    Prado, Laura Rocha

    2013-01-01

    Sexual dimorphism occurs frequently in Chrysomelidae Latreille, 1802 and is particularly variable in subfamily Galerucinae Latreille, 1802. This diversity has been early noted by authors a potential source of taxonomic characters. The section Diabroticites (Luperini Gistel, 1848) is one of the largest assemblies of chrysomelid genera with currently 823 valid species in 17 genera (12 based on dimorphic characteristics), being most diverse in the neotropical region. Apart from a revision work on the type specimens for the section, there are no general taxonomic studies for this group. The occurrence of sexually dimorphic characteristics in the section Diabroticites is revised and their practical taxonomic relevance evaluated. A total of 240 species was studied (145 species with males available), representing 15 out of the 17 genera included in Diabroticites. The analysis of characters was based on the study of specimens in south-american collections, literature and the aid of photos in online databases. Sexual dimorphism occurred in most species analyzed. Dimorphic features were divided in general (i. e., occur in higher taxa) and special characters (those that support the definition of species and genera). Special dimorphism was observed in every tagma, and most modifications occur in antennae. Characters used as diagnostic of genera often do not correspond to the modifications present in species included in them. Many modifications were considered by earlier authors as a single character, probably due to vague definitions. Most generic definitions are, therefore, inaccurate. The study of morphology and the homology assessment of characters are needed to increase understanding of the genera in Diabroticites. PMID:24163580

  6. Sexual dimorphism in the white matter of rodents

    PubMed Central

    Cerghet, Mirela; Skoff, Robert P.; Swamydas, Muthulekha; Bessert, Denise

    2009-01-01

    Sexual dimorphism of astrocytes and neurons is well documented in many brain and spinal cord structures. Sexual dimorphism of oligodendrocytes (Olgs) and myelin has received less attention. We recently showed that density of Olgs in corpus callosum, fornix, and spinal cord of wild-type male rodents are more densely packed than in females; myelin proteins and myelin gene expression is likewise greater in males than in female rodents. However, glial cell proliferation and cell death were two times greater in female corpus callosum. Endogenous sex hormones, specifically lack of androgens, produce an Olg female phenotype in castrated male mouse. In vitro studies using Olgs culture also showed differences between males and females Olg survival and signaling pathways in response to sexual hormones. Sexual dimorphism of white matter tracts and glia in rodents indicates the necessity for controlling gender in experimental studies of neurodegenerative disorders. Most importantly, our studies suggest that hormones may contribute to sexual dimorphism observed in certain human diseases including multiple sclerosis. PMID:19625027

  7. Sexual dimorphism in the face of Australopithecus africanus.

    PubMed

    Lockwood, C A

    1999-01-01

    Recently discovered crania of Australopithecus africanus from Sterkfontein Member 4 and Makapansgat enlarge the size range of the species and encourage a reappraisal of both the degree and pattern of sexual dimorphism. Resampling methodology (bootstrapping) is used here to establish that A. africanus has a greater craniofacial size range than chimpanzees or modern humans, a range which is best attributed to a moderately high degree of sexual dimorphism. Compared to other fossil hominins, this variation is similar to that of Homo habilis (sensu lato) but less than that of A. boisei. The finding of moderately high dimorphism is corroborated by a CV-based estimate and ratios between those specimens considered to be male and those considered to be female. Inferences about the pattern of craniofacial dimorphism in the A. africanus face currently rely on the relationship of morphology and size. Larger specimens, particularly Stw 505, show prominent superciliary eminences and glabellar regions, but in features related in part to canine size, such as the curvature of the infraorbital surface, large and small specimens of A. africanus are similar. In this respect, the pattern resembles that of modern humans more so than chimpanzees or lowland gorillas. A. africanus may also show novel patterns of sexual dimorphism when compared to extant hominines, such as in the form of the anterior pillar. However, males of the species do not exhibit characteristics of more derived hominins, such as A. robustus. PMID:9915304

  8. The earliest fossil evidence for sexual dimorphism in primates

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Krishtalka, Leonard; Stucky, Richard K.; Beard, K. C.

    1990-01-01

    Recently obtained material of the early Eocene primate Notharctus venticolus, including two partial skulls from a single stratigraphic horizon, provides the geologically earliest evidence of sexual dimorphism in canine size and shape in primates and the only unequivocal evidence for such dimorphism in strepsirhines. By analogy with living platyrrhines, these data suggest that Notharctus venticolus may have lived in polygynous social groups characterized by a relatively high level of intermale competition for mates and other limited resources. The anatomy of the upper incisors and related evidence imply that Notharctus is not as closely related to extant lemuriform primates as has been recently proposed. The early Eocene evidence for canine sexual dimorphism reported here, and its occurrence in a nonanthropoid, indicates that in the order Primates such a condition is either primitive or evolved independently more than once.

  9. Sexually dimorphic nuclei in the spinal cord control male sexual functions

    PubMed Central

    Sakamoto, Hirotaka

    2014-01-01

    Lower spinal cord injuries frequently cause sexual dysfunction in men, including erectile dysfunction and an ejaculation disorder. This indicates that the important neural centers for male sexual function are located within the lower spinal cord. It is interesting that the lumbar spinal segments contain several neural circuits, showing a clear sexually dimorphism that, in association with neural circuits of the thoracic and sacral spinal cord, are critical in expressing penile reflexes during sexual behavior. To date, many sex differences in the spinal cord have been discovered. Interestingly, most of these are male dominant. Substantial evidence of sexually dimorphic neural circuits in the spinal cord have been reported in many animal models, but major issues remain unknown. For example, it is not known how the different circuits cooperatively function during male sexual behavior. In this review, therefore, the anatomical and functional significance of the sexually dimorphic nuclei in the spinal cord corresponding to the expression of male sexual behavior is discussed. PMID:25071429

  10. Modeling the Process of Science: Investigating Sexual Dimorphism in Crayfish.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mullen, Dennis M.; Rutledge, Michael L.; Swain, Sarah H.

    2003-01-01

    Describes a scientific investigation of sexual dimorphism with regard to chela size in crayfish in which students utilize the skills, tools, and techniques associated with the formulation and testing of scientific hypotheses. Indicates that students find the investigation effective in aiding their understanding of fundamental aspects of scientific…

  11. Variation of mandibular sexual dimorphism across human facial patterns.

    PubMed

    Alarcón, J A; Bastir, M; Rosas, A

    2016-06-01

    This study analysed how sex-specific features differed in male and female adult mandibles throughout the spectrum of vertical facial patterns (i.e., meso-, dolicho- and brachyfacial) and sagittal variations (the so-called skeletal Classes I, II and III; normal maxillo-mandibular relationship, maxillary prognathism vs. mandibular retrognathism, and maxillary retrognathism vs. mandibular prognathism, respectively). Specifically, we test the hypothesis that sexual dimorphism in the mandible is independent of such facial vertical and sagittal patterns. A sample of 187 European adults (92 males, 95 females; age range, 20-30 years; mean age 25.6 years, sd=4.2 years) from Granada (southern Spain) were randomly selected and grouped according to the standard cephalometric criteria of the sagittal and vertical patterns. Geometric morphometrics were used to analyse the size (centroid size) and shape (principal components analysis, mean shape comparisons) of the mandible. The patterns of sexual dimorphism were evaluated with a generalised linear model with interaction term. We found that sagittal and vertical facial patterns are associated with different mandibular morphologies (size and shape). Also, sexual dimorphism was present in all comparisons. The hypothesis was rejected only for vertical facial patterns. That is, the nature of sexual dimorphism was similar among the skeletal classes but different (e.g., distribution of dimorphic variables, interaction term) in meso-, dolicho-, and brachyfacial mandibles. In conclusion, sex-specific mandibular traits behave in a different way across vertical facial patterns. These results imply that an assessment of the vertical facial pattern of the individual is required before a sexual diagnosis of the mandible is proposed. PMID:26852041

  12. Red is romantic, but only for feminine females: sexual dimorphism moderates red effect on sexual attraction.

    PubMed

    Wen, Fangfang; Zuo, Bin; Wu, Yang; Sun, Shan; Liu, Ke

    2014-01-01

    Previous researchers have documented that the color red enhances one's sexual attraction to the opposite sex. The current study further examined the moderating role of sexual dimorphism in red effects. The results indicated that red enhanced men's sexual attraction to women with more feminine facial characteristics but had no effect on ratings of perceived general attractiveness. Red clothing also had a marginally significant effect on men's sexual attractiveness. In addition, regardless of sexual dimorphism cues, male participants rated women with red as warmer and more competent. The underlying mechanisms of the red effect, the limitations of the current study, and suggestions for future directions are discussed. PMID:25300050

  13. Sexual dimorphism in Tripedaliidae (Conant 1897) (Cnidaria, Cubozoa, Carybdeida).

    PubMed

    Straehler-Pohl, Ilka; Garm, Anders; Morandini, André C

    2014-01-01

    The family Tripedaliidae was re-defined and expanded based on a molecular phylogenetic hypothesis by Bentlage et al. (2010, Proceedings of the Royal Society Biological Science, 277: 497). Additionally, Bentlage et al. (2010) proposed that all members of the family Tripedaliidae present dimorphism in gonads and have structures that function as seminal vesicles (at least in males). Until now, no information on Tripedalia binata concerning gonad morphology, sexual dimorphism, spermatophore formation or structures that serve as seminal vesicles or spermathecae were published. We studied mature medusae of both sexes of Tripedalia cystophora, Tripedalia binata and Copula sivickisi in order to compare these structures in their stomach regions. We found sexual dimorphism and spermatophore formation in seminal vesicle-like structures in all three species. In particular, we show that along with the females of Copula sivickisi, the females of Tripedalia cystophora and Tripedalia binata also possess structures that store spermatophores and serve as spermathecae. The results are in agreement with the morphological synapomorphies for Tripedaliidae outlined in Bentlage et al. (2010), but suggest an adjustment of the diagnosis of Tripedaliidae (underlined): All carybdeids that display sexual dimorphism of the gonads, produce spermatophores and in which males and females possess subgastral sacs, pockets or purses which function as seminal vesicles or spermathecae. PMID:24872244

  14. ALTERATIONS IN SEXUALLY DIMORPHIC BIOTRANSFORMATION OF TESTOSTERONE IN JUVENILE AMERICAN ALLIGATORS (ALLIGATOR MISSISSIPPIENSIS) FROM CONTAMINATED LAKES

    EPA Science Inventory

    The goal of this study was to determine whether hepatic biotransformation of testosterone is normally sexually dimorphic in juvenile alligators and whether living in a contaminated environment affects hepatic dimorphism. Lake Woodruff served as our reference site. Moonshine Bay, ...

  15. Sexual dimorphism in primate aerobic capacity: a phylogenetic test.

    PubMed

    Lindenfors, Patrik; Revell, L J; Nunn, C L

    2010-06-01

    Male intrasexual competition should favour increased male physical prowess. This should in turn result in greater aerobic capacity in males than in females (i.e. sexual dimorphism) and a correlation between sexual dimorphism in aerobic capacity and the strength of sexual selection among species. However, physiological scaling laws predict that aerobic capacity should be lower per unit body mass in larger than in smaller animals, potentially reducing or reversing the sex difference and its association with measures of sexual selection. We used measures of haematocrit and red blood cell (RBC) counts from 45 species of primates to test four predictions related to sexual selection and body mass: (i) on average, males should have higher aerobic capacity than females, (ii) aerobic capacity should be higher in adult than juvenile males, (iii) aerobic capacity should increase with increasing sexual selection, but also that (iv) measures of aerobic capacity should co-vary negatively with body mass. For the first two predictions, we used a phylogenetic paired t-test developed for this study. We found support for predictions (i) and (ii). For prediction (iii), however, we found a negative correlation between the degree of sexual selection and aerobic capacity, which was opposite to our prediction. Prediction (iv) was generally supported. We also investigated whether substrate use, basal metabolic rate and agility influenced physiological measures of oxygen transport, but we found only weak evidence for a correlation between RBC count and agility. PMID:20406346

  16. Sexual Size Dimorphism and Body Condition in the Australasian Gannet.

    PubMed

    Angel, Lauren P; Wells, Melanie R; Rodríguez-Malagón, Marlenne A; Tew, Emma; Speakman, John R; Arnould, John P Y

    2015-01-01

    Sexual size dimorphism is widespread throughout seabird taxa and several drivers leading to its evolution have been hypothesised. While the Australasian Gannet (Morus serrator) has previously been considered nominally monomorphic, recent studies have documented sexual segregation in diet and foraging areas, traits often associated with size dimorphism. The present study investigated the sex differences in body mass and structural size of this species at two colonies (Pope's Eye, PE; Point Danger, PD) in northern Bass Strait, south-eastern Australia. Females were found to be 3.1% and 7.3% heavier (2.74 ± 0.03, n = 92; 2.67 ± 0.03 kg, n = 43) than males (2.66 ± 0.03, n = 92; 2.48 ± 0.03 kg, n = 43) at PE and PD, respectively. Females were also larger in wing ulna length (0.8% both colonies) but smaller in bill depth (PE: 2.2%; PD: 1.7%) than males. Despite this dimorphism, a discriminant function provided only mild accuracy in determining sex. A similar degree of dimorphism was also found within breeding pairs, however assortative mating was not apparent at either colony (R2 < 0.04). Using hydrogen isotope dilution, a body condition index was developed from morphometrics to estimate total body fat (TBF) stores, where TBF(%) = 24.43+1.94*(body mass/wing ulna length) - 0.58*tarsus length (r2 = 0.84, n = 15). This index was used to estimate body composition in all sampled individuals. There was no significant difference in TBF(%) between the sexes for any stage of breeding or in any year of the study at either colony suggesting that, despite a greater body mass, females were not in a better condition than males. While the driving mechanism for sexual dimorphism in this species is currently unknown, studies of other Sulids indicate segregation in foraging behaviour, habitat and diet may be a contributing factor. PMID:26637116

  17. Sexually Monomorphic Maps and Dimorphic Responses in Rat Genital Cortex.

    PubMed

    Lenschow, Constanze; Copley, Sean; Gardiner, Jayne M; Talbot, Zoe N; Vitenzon, Ariel; Brecht, Michael

    2016-01-11

    Mammalian external genitals show sexual dimorphism [1, 2] and can change size and shape upon sexual arousal. Genitals feature prominently in the oldest pieces of figural art [3] and phallic depictions of penises informed psychoanalytic thought about sexuality [4, 5]. Despite this longstanding interest, the neural representations of genitals are still poorly understood [6]. In somatosensory cortex specifically, many studies did not detect any cortical representation of genitals [7-9]. Studies in humans debate whether genitals are represented displaced below the foot of the cortical body map [10-12] or whether they are represented somatotopically [13-15]. We wondered what a high-resolution mapping of genital representations might tell us about the sexual differentiation of the mammalian brain. We identified genital responses in rat somatosensory cortex in a region previously assigned as arm/leg cortex. Genital responses were more common in males than in females. Despite such response dimorphism, we observed a stunning anatomical monomorphism of cortical penis and clitoris input maps revealed by cytochrome-oxidase-staining of cortical layer 4. Genital representations were somatotopic and bilaterally symmetric, and their relative size increased markedly during puberty. Size, shape, and erect posture give the cortical penis representation a phallic appearance pointing to a role in sexually aroused states. Cortical genital neurons showed unusual multi-body-part responses and sexually dimorphic receptive fields. Specifically, genital neurons were co-activated by distant body regions, which are touched during mounting in the respective sex. Genital maps indicate a deep homology of penis and clitoris representations in line with a fundamentally bi-sexual layout [16] of the vertebrate brain. PMID:26725197

  18. Measuring sexual dimorphism with a race-gender face space.

    PubMed

    Hopper, William J; Finklea, Kristin M; Winkielman, Piotr; Huber, David E

    2014-10-01

    Faces are complex visual objects, and faces chosen to vary in 1 regard may unintentionally vary in other ways, particularly if the correlation is a property of the population of faces. Here, we present an example of a correlation that arises from differences in the degree of sexual dimorphism. In Experiment 1, paired similarity ratings were collected for a set of 40 real face images chosen to vary in terms of gender and race (Asian vs. White). Multidimensional scaling (MDS) placed these stimuli in a "face space," with different attributes corresponding to different dimensions. Gender was found to vary more for White faces, resulting in a negative or positive correlation between gender and race when only considering male or only considering female faces. This increased sexual dimorphism for White faces may provide an alternative explanation for differences in face processing between White and Asian faces (e.g., the own-race bias, face attractiveness biases, etc.). Studies of face processing that are unconfounded by this difference in the degree of sexual dimorphism require stimuli that are decorrelated in terms of race and gender. Decorrelated faces were created using a morphing technique, spacing the morphs uniformly around a ring in the 2-dimensional (2D) race-gender plane. In Experiment 2, paired similarity ratings confirmed the 2D positions of the morph faces. In Experiment 3, race and gender category judgments varied uniformly for these decorrelated stimuli. Our results and stimuli should prove useful for studying sexual dimorphism and for the study of face processing more generally. PMID:25151105

  19. Sexual dimorphism in tooth morphometrics: An evaluation of the parameters

    PubMed Central

    Banerjee, Abhishek; Kamath, Venkatesh V.; Satelur, Krishnanand; Rajkumar, Komali; Sundaram, Lavanya

    2016-01-01

    Aims and Objectives: Sexual dimorphism refers to the variations in tooth size and shape between the sexes. The consistency of these variations is valuable in the identification of the sex of an individual in times of mass disaster when whole body parts get destroyed or are unavailable. There exist differences in the expression of these variables across races and regions. This study aims to tabulate and identify the variations in tooth measurements using standarized reference points in an attempt to establish parameters of sexual dimorphism. Materials and Methods: 100 individuals (50 of each sex) in the age group 19-23 years were assessed for standard morphometric parameters of the maxillary central incisor, canine, premolar and molar. Odontometric measurements of established parameters were recorded from impression casts of the maxillary jaws. The mesiodistal width (MDW), the bucco-ligual width (BLW), the crown length (CL) and the cervical angle (CA) were charted among the teeth. The consistency of the variations was statistically analyzed and a logistic regression table was prepared to identify the sex of the individual from the tooth measurements. Results and Conclusions: The BLW, MDW and CL reflected significant variations among all the teeth to be effective in establishing sexual dimorphism. CA as a parameter was inadequate across all the teeth. The permanent maxillary canine was the most important tooth to be reflective of the gender and statistically significant to be utilized for gender determination. PMID:27051219

  20. Sexual dimorphism in a trophically polymorphic cichlid fish?

    PubMed

    Hulsey, Christopher Darrin; García-De León, Francisco J; Meyer, Axel

    2015-12-01

    Sexual dimorphism in ecologically relevant traits is ubiquitous in animals. However, other types of intraspecific phenotypic divergence, such as trophic polymorphism, are less common. Because linkage to sex should often lead to balancing selection, understanding the association between sex and phenotypic divergence could help explain why particular species show high morphological variability. To determine if sexual dimorphism could be helping to maintain ecomorphological variation in a classic case of intraspecific trophic polymorphism, we examined the association between sex and morphological divergence in the cichlid Herichthys minckleyi. Although H. minckleyi with enlarged molariform teeth on their pharyngeal jaws have been reported to more commonly be male, we did not find an association between sex and pharyngeal morphotype. Sex was associated with divergence in body size (as measured through standard length). But, sex was not associated with any of the other trophic traits examined. However, pharyngeal morphotype did show an association with gut length, gape, and tooth number. Sexual dimorphism is not playing a central role in enhancing trophic diversity within H. minckleyi. PMID:26289966

  1. Retinol and Retinyl Palmitate in Foetal Lung Mice: Sexual Dimorphism

    PubMed Central

    Carvalho, Olga; Gonçalves, Carlos

    2013-01-01

    In this work, we evaluate the lung retinoids content to study the possible difference between male and female mice during prenatal development and to comprehend if the vitamin A metabolism is similar in both genders. The study occurred between developmental days E15 and E19, and the retinol and retinyl palmitate lung contents were determined by HPLC analysis. We established two main groups: the control, consisting of foetuses obtained from pregnant females without any manipulation, and vitamin A, composed of foetuses from pregnant females submitted to vitamin A administration on developmental day E14. Each of these groups was subdivided by gender, establishing the four final groups. In the lung of control group, retinol was undetected in both genders and retinyl palmitate levels exhibited a sexual dimorphism. In the vitamin A group, we detected retinol and retinyl palmitate in both genders, and we observed a more evident sexual dimorphism for both retinoids. Our study also indicates that, from developmental day E15 to E19, there is an increase in the retinoids content in foetal lung and a gender difference in the retinoids metabolism. In conclusion, there is a sexual dimorphism in the lung retinoids content and in its metabolism during mice development. PMID:23365730

  2. Sexual dimorphism in the feeding mechanism of threespine stickleback.

    PubMed

    McGee, Matthew D; Wainwright, Peter C

    2013-03-01

    Sexual dimorphism is common in nature and has the potential to increase intraspecific variation in performance and patterns of resource use. We sought to determine whether anadromous threespine stickleback, Gasterosteus aculeatus, exhibit sexual dimorphism in feeding kinematics. We filmed four males and four females consuming live prey in a total of 51 sequences filmed at 500 Hz, then tested for differences in cranial kinematics using a combination of principal component analysis and linear mixed models. We document, for the first time in fishes, divergence between males and females in both the timing of key movements and the magnitude of excursions reached by the hyoid, jaws and neurocranium during prey capture. Some of the largest differences are in jaw protrusion, with males exhibiting faster time to peak jaw protrusion but females exhibiting greater maximum jaw protrusion. Measurements of morphological jaw protrusion on cleared and stained specimens significantly predict jaw protrusion in kinematics. This morphological divergence could reflect ecological divergence between the sexes, or the demands of nest building and territory defense compromising male feeding performance. Remarkably, the morphological jaw protrusion divergence in anadromous males and females is similar to jaw protrusion divergence between ecomorphs in a benthic-limnetic species pair, with limnetics exhibiting female-like patterns of protrusion and benthics exhibiting male-like patterns. These results suggest that sexual dimorphism in feeding functional morphology exists in nature and may have played an important role in the radiation of threespine stickleback. PMID:23408802

  3. Masculinization of Gene Expression Is Associated with Exaggeration of Male Sexual Dimorphism

    PubMed Central

    Pointer, Marie A.; Harrison, Peter W.; Wright, Alison E.; Mank, Judith E.

    2013-01-01

    Gene expression differences between the sexes account for the majority of sexually dimorphic phenotypes, and the study of sex-biased gene expression is important for understanding the genetic basis of complex sexual dimorphisms. However, it has been difficult to test the nature of this relationship due to the fact that sexual dimorphism has traditionally been conceptualized as a dichotomy between males and females, rather than an axis with individuals distributed at intermediate points. The wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) exhibits just this sort of continuum, with dominant and subordinate males forming a gradient in male secondary sexual characteristics. This makes it possible for the first time to test the correlation between sex-biased gene expression and sexually dimorphic phenotypes, a relationship crucial to molecular studies of sexual selection and sexual conflict. Here, we show that subordinate male transcriptomes show striking multiple concordances with their relative phenotypic sexual dimorphism. Subordinate males were clearly male rather than intersex, and when compared to dominant males, their transcriptomes were simultaneously demasculinized for male-biased genes and feminized for female-biased genes across the majority of the transcriptome. These results provide the first evidence linking sexually dimorphic transcription and sexually dimorphic phenotypes. More importantly, they indicate that evolutionary changes in sexual dimorphism can be achieved by varying the magnitude of sex-bias in expression across a large proportion of the coding content of a genome. PMID:23966876

  4. Human preferences for sexually dimorphic faces may be evolutionarily novel.

    PubMed

    Scott, Isabel M; Clark, Andrew P; Josephson, Steven C; Boyette, Adam H; Cuthill, Innes C; Fried, Ruby L; Gibson, Mhairi A; Hewlett, Barry S; Jamieson, Mark; Jankowiak, William; Honey, P Lynne; Huang, Zejun; Liebert, Melissa A; Purzycki, Benjamin G; Shaver, John H; Snodgrass, J Josh; Sosis, Richard; Sugiyama, Lawrence S; Swami, Viren; Yu, Douglas W; Zhao, Yangke; Penton-Voak, Ian S

    2014-10-01

    A large literature proposes that preferences for exaggerated sex typicality in human faces (masculinity/femininity) reflect a long evolutionary history of sexual and social selection. This proposal implies that dimorphism was important to judgments of attractiveness and personality in ancestral environments. It is difficult to evaluate, however, because most available data come from large-scale, industrialized, urban populations. Here, we report the results for 12 populations with very diverse levels of economic development. Surprisingly, preferences for exaggerated sex-specific traits are only found in the novel, highly developed environments. Similarly, perceptions that masculine males look aggressive increase strongly with development and, specifically, urbanization. These data challenge the hypothesis that facial dimorphism was an important ancestral signal of heritable mate value. One possibility is that highly developed environments provide novel opportunities to discern relationships between facial traits and behavior by exposing individuals to large numbers of unfamiliar faces, revealing patterns too subtle to detect with smaller samples. PMID:25246593

  5. Human preferences for sexually dimorphic faces may be evolutionarily novel

    PubMed Central

    Scott, Isabel M.; Clark, Andrew P.; Josephson, Steven C.; Boyette, Adam H.; Cuthill, Innes C.; Fried, Ruby L.; Gibson, Mhairi A.; Hewlett, Barry S.; Jamieson, Mark; Jankowiak, William; Honey, P. Lynne; Huang, Zejun; Liebert, Melissa A.; Purzycki, Benjamin G.; Shaver, John H.; Snodgrass, J. Josh; Sosis, Richard; Sugiyama, Lawrence S.; Swami, Viren; Yu, Douglas W.; Zhao, Yangke; Penton-Voak, Ian S.

    2014-01-01

    A large literature proposes that preferences for exaggerated sex typicality in human faces (masculinity/femininity) reflect a long evolutionary history of sexual and social selection. This proposal implies that dimorphism was important to judgments of attractiveness and personality in ancestral environments. It is difficult to evaluate, however, because most available data come from large-scale, industrialized, urban populations. Here, we report the results for 12 populations with very diverse levels of economic development. Surprisingly, preferences for exaggerated sex-specific traits are only found in the novel, highly developed environments. Similarly, perceptions that masculine males look aggressive increase strongly with development and, specifically, urbanization. These data challenge the hypothesis that facial dimorphism was an important ancestral signal of heritable mate value. One possibility is that highly developed environments provide novel opportunities to discern relationships between facial traits and behavior by exposing individuals to large numbers of unfamiliar faces, revealing patterns too subtle to detect with smaller samples. PMID:25246593

  6. Early constraints in sexual dimorphism: survival benefits of feminized phenotypes.

    PubMed

    López-Rull, I; Vergara, P; Martínez-Padilla, J; Fargallo, J A

    2016-02-01

    Sexual dimorphism (SD) has evolved in response to selection pressures that differ between sexes. Since such pressures change across an individual's life, SD may vary within age classes. Yet, little is known about how selection on early phenotypes may drive the final SD observed in adults. In many dimorphic species, juveniles resemble adult females rather than adult males, meaning that out of the selective pressures established by sexual selection feminized phenotypes may be adaptive. If true, fitness benefits of early female-like phenotypes may constrain the expression of male phenotypes in adulthood. Using the common kestrel Falco tinnunculus as a study model, we evaluated the fitness advantages of expressing more feminized phenotypes at youth. Although more similar to adult females than to adult males, common kestrel fledglings are still sexually dimorphic in size and coloration. Integrating morphological and chromatic variables, we analysed the phenotypic divergence between sexes as a measure of how much each individual looks like the sex to which it belongs (phenotypic sexual resemblance, PSR). We then tested the fitness benefits associated with PSR by means of the probability of recruitment in the population. We found a significant interaction between PSR and sex, showing that in both sexes more feminized phenotypes recruited more into the population than less feminized phenotypes. Moreover, males showed lower PSR than females and a higher proportion of incorrect sex classifications. These findings suggest that the mechanisms in males devoted to resembling female phenotypes in youth, due to a trend to increase fitness through more feminized phenotypes, may provide a mechanism to constrain the SD in adulthood. PMID:26494322

  7. Circulating kisspeptin levels exhibit sexual dimorphism in adults, are increased in obese prepubertal girls and do not suffer modifications in girls with idiopathic central precocious puberty.

    PubMed

    Pita, Jimena; Barrios, Vicente; Gavela-Pérez, Teresa; Martos-Moreno, Gabriel Á; Muñoz-Calvo, María T; Pozo, Jesús; Rovira, Adela; Argente, Jesús; Soriano-Guillén, Leandro

    2011-09-01

    The system KISS1-KISS1R is one of the main regulators of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis and constitutes a link between metabolism and reproduction through its interaction with leptin. The aim of this study was to clarify the possible utility of kisspeptin as a pubertal marker and/or the possible influence of nutritional status in kisspeptin levels. To this end, we have studied kisspeptin plasma levels throughout sexual development and in prepubertal obese girls and girls affected by idiopathic central precocious puberty (CPP). Plasma kisspeptin concentrations were analyzed by RIA. An increase in kisspeptin levels was observed in adult females compared to healthy prepubertal and pubertal girls (p<0.001) and to adult males (p<0.001). Additionally, kisspeptin was increased in prepubertal obese girls compared to healthy prepubertal girls (p<0.01) and girls with idiopathic CPP (p<0.05). As revealed by the regression analysis, in prepubertal healthy and obese girls and girls with idiopathic CCP, the parameters that influenced kisspeptin levels were BMI (R(2)=0.10, p<0.05) and leptin levels (R(2)=0.14, p<0.01). In conclusion, kisspeptin levels do not seem to be a good pubertal marker. The results obtained in prepubertal and idiopathic CCP girls point to a relationship between leptin, BMI and kisspeptin at least in this group, and suggest a possible role for adipose tissue in the modulation kisspeptin synthesis. PMID:21827808

  8. Sexual Size Dimorphism and Body Condition in the Australasian Gannet

    PubMed Central

    Angel, Lauren P.; Wells, Melanie R.; Rodríguez-Malagón, Marlenne A.; Tew, Emma; Speakman, John R.; Arnould, John P. Y.

    2015-01-01

    Sexual size dimorphism is widespread throughout seabird taxa and several drivers leading to its evolution have been hypothesised. While the Australasian Gannet (Morus serrator) has previously been considered nominally monomorphic, recent studies have documented sexual segregation in diet and foraging areas, traits often associated with size dimorphism. The present study investigated the sex differences in body mass and structural size of this species at two colonies (Pope’s Eye, PE; Point Danger, PD) in northern Bass Strait, south-eastern Australia. Females were found to be 3.1% and 7.3% heavier (2.74 ± 0.03, n = 92; 2.67 ± 0.03 kg, n = 43) than males (2.66 ± 0.03, n = 92; 2.48 ± 0.03 kg, n = 43) at PE and PD, respectively. Females were also larger in wing ulna length (0.8% both colonies) but smaller in bill depth (PE: 2.2%; PD: 1.7%) than males. Despite this dimorphism, a discriminant function provided only mild accuracy in determining sex. A similar degree of dimorphism was also found within breeding pairs, however assortative mating was not apparent at either colony (R2 < 0.04). Using hydrogen isotope dilution, a body condition index was developed from morphometrics to estimate total body fat (TBF) stores, where TBF(%) = 24.43+1.94*(body mass/wing ulna length) – 0.58*tarsus length (r2 = 0.84, n = 15). This index was used to estimate body composition in all sampled individuals. There was no significant difference in TBF(%) between the sexes for any stage of breeding or in any year of the study at either colony suggesting that, despite a greater body mass, females were not in a better condition than males. While the driving mechanism for sexual dimorphism in this species is currently unknown, studies of other Sulids indicate segregation in foraging behaviour, habitat and diet may be a contributing factor. PMID:26637116

  9. The Proximate Causes of Sexual Size Dimorphism in Phrynocephalus przewalskii

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Wei; Liu, Nai-fa

    2014-01-01

    Sexual size dimorphism (SSD) is a common phenomenon and is a central topic in evolutionary biology. Recently, the importance of pursuing an ontogenetic perspective of SSD has been emphasized, to elucidate the proximate physiological mechanisms leading to its evolution. However, such research has seldom focused on the critical periods when males and females diverge. Using mark-recapture data, we investigated the development of SSD, sex-specific survivorship, and growth rates in Phrynocephalus przewalskii (Agamidae). We demonstrated that both male and female lizards are reproductively mature at age 10–11 months (including 5 months hibernation). Male-biased SSD in snout-vent length (SVL) was only found in adults and was fully expressed at age 11 months (June of the first full season of activity), just after sexual maturation. However, male-biased SSD in tail length (TL), hind-limb length (LL), and head width (HW) were fully expressed at age 9–10 months, just before sexual maturation. Analysis of age-specific linear growth rates identified sexually dimorphic growth during the fifth growth month (age 10–11 months) as the proximate cause of SSD in SVL. The males experienced higher mortality than females in the first 2 years and only survived better than females after SSD was well developed. This suggests that the critical period of divergence in the sizes of male and female P. przewalskii occurs between 10 and 11 months of age (May to June during the first full season of activity), and that the sexual difference in growth during this period is the proximate cause. However, the sexual difference in survivorship cannot explain the male-biased SSD in SVL. Our results indicate that performance-related characteristics, such as TL, HW, and LL diverged earlier than SVL. The physiological mechanisms underlying the different growth patterns of males and females may reflect different energy allocations associated with their different reproductive statuses. PMID:24465815

  10. Sexual dimorphism of canine volume: a pilot study.

    PubMed

    De Angelis, Danilo; Gibelli, Daniele; Gaudio, Daniel; Cipriani Noce, Filippo; Guercini, Nicola; Varvara, Giuseppe; Sguazza, Emanuela; Sforza, Chiarella; Cattaneo, Cristina

    2015-05-01

    Sex assessment is a crucial part of the biological profile in forensic and archaeological context, but it can be hardly performed in cases of commingled and charred human remains where DNA tests often are not applicable. With time literature have analyzed the sexual dimorphism of teeth (and especially canines), but very few articles take into consideration the teeth volume, although with time several technologies have been introduced in order to assess 3D volume (CT-scan, laser scanner, etc.). This study aims at assessing the sexual dimorphism of dental and pulp chamber volumes of a sample of canines. Cone beam computed tomography analyses were performed by 87 patients (41 males and 46 females, aged between 15 and 83 years) for clinical purposes, and were acquired in order to measure canine volumes. Results show that the dental volume amounted to 0.745 cm(3) (SD 0.126 cm(3)) in males, 0.551 cm(3) (SD 0.130 cm(3)) with a statistically significant difference (p<0.01). A diagnostic threshold of 0.619 cm(3) was stated, which provides a percentage of correct answer of 80.5% in the chosen sample. The novel method was then applied with success to 7 archaeological: where in all the cases the results were concordant with those provided by the assessment of the cranium and pelvis. The study adds a contribution to the wide analysis of dental sexual dimorphism confirming the statistically significant differences of volume between males and females and providing a method for the diagnosis of sex applicable to forensic cases. PMID:25556039

  11. The Sexual Dimorphism of Lipid Kinetics in Humans

    PubMed Central

    Santosa, Sylvia; Jensen, Michael D.

    2015-01-01

    In addition to the obvious differences in body shape, there are substantial differences in lipid metabolism between men and women. These differences include how dietary fatty acids are handled, the secretion and clearance of very low-density lipoprotein-triglycerides, the release rates of free fatty acids (FFA) from adipose tissue relative to energy needs, and the removal of FFA from the circulation, including the storage of FFA into adipose tissue via the direct uptake process. We will review what is known about these processes and how they may contribute to the sexual dimorphism of body fat distribution. PMID:26191040

  12. Sexual Dimorphism Analysis and Gender Classification in 3D Human Face

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Yuan; Lu, Li; Yan, Jingqi; Liu, Zhi; Shi, Pengfei

    In this paper, we present the sexual dimorphism analysis in 3D human face and perform gender classification based on the result of sexual dimorphism analysis. Four types of features are extracted from a 3D human-face image. By using statistical methods, the existence of sexual dimorphism is demonstrated in 3D human face based on these features. The contributions of each feature to sexual dimorphism are quantified according to a novel criterion. The best gender classification rate is 94% by using SVMs and Matcher Weighting fusion method.This research adds to the knowledge of 3D faces in sexual dimorphism and affords a foundation that could be used to distinguish between male and female in 3D faces.

  13. Divergence in androgen sensitivity contributes to population differences in sexual dimorphism of electrocommunication behavior.

    PubMed

    Ho, Winnie W; Rack, Jessie M; Smith, G Troy

    2013-01-01

    Weakly-electric fish (Apteronotidae) produce highly diverse electrocommunication signals. Electric organ discharges (EODs) vary across species, sexes, and in the magnitude and direction of their sexual dimorphism. Gonadal steroid hormones can modulate EODs, and differences in androgen sensitivity are hypothesized to underlie variation in the degree of sexual dimorphism across species. In this study, we asked whether variation in androgen sensitivity explained variation in sexual dimorphism of EODs within species, at the population level. We examined two populations of black ghost knifefish (Apteronotus albifrons), one from the Orinoco and the other from the Amazon River Basin. EOD frequency (EODf) and chirp rates were measured to characterize diversity in sexual dimorphism across populations. The magnitude of sexual dimorphism in EODf differed significantly across populations, and was more pronounced in the Orinoco population than in the Amazon population. Chirp rates were sexually monomorphic in both populations. 11-Ketotestosterone (11-kT) was administered over a two-week period to assess population differences in sensitivity to androgens. 11-kT masculinized EODf significantly more in the population with the greater degree of sexual dimorphism. 11-kT had no effect on the sexually monomorphic chirping rates. We conclude that population divergence in androgen sensitivity contributes to variation in sexual dimorphism of EODf in A. albifrons. PMID:23142327

  14. Molecular and neural control of sexually dimorphic social behaviors.

    PubMed

    Yang, Taehong; Shah, Nirao M

    2016-06-01

    Sexually reproducing animals exhibit sex differences in behavior. Sexual dimorphisms in mating, aggression, and parental care directly contribute to reproductive success of the individual and survival of progeny. In this review, we discuss recent advances in our understanding of the molecular and neural network mechanisms underlying these behaviors in mice. Notable advances include novel insights into the sensory control of social interactions and the identification of molecularly-specified neuronal populations in the brain that control mating, aggression, and parental behaviors. In the case of the latter, these advances mark a watershed because scientists can now focus on discrete neural pathways in an effort to understand how the brain encodes these fundamental social behaviors. PMID:27162162

  15. Geometric morphometric analysis reveals sexual dimorphism in the distal femur.

    PubMed

    Cavaignac, Etienne; Savall, Frederic; Faruch, Marie; Reina, Nicolas; Chiron, Philippe; Telmon, Norbert

    2016-02-01

    An individual's sex can be determined by the shape of their distal femur. The goal of this study was to show that differences in distal femur shape related to sexual dimorphism could be identified, visualized, and quantified using 3D geometric morphometric analysis. Geometric morphometric analysis was carried out on CT scans of the distal femur of 256 subjects living in the south of France. Ten landmarks were defined on 3D reconstructions of the distal femur. Both traditional metric and geometric morphometric analyses were carried out on these bone reconstructions; these analyses identified trends in bone shape in sex-based subgroups. Sex-related differences in shape were statistically significant. The subject's sex was correctly assigned in 77.3% of cases using geometric morphometric analysis. This study has shown that geometric morphometric analysis of the distal femur is feasible and has revealed sexual dimorphism differences in this bone segment. This reliable, accurate method could be used for virtual autopsy and be used to perform diachronic and interethnic comparisons. Moreover, this study provides updated morphometric data for a modern population in the south of France. PMID:26743712

  16. A brain sexual dimorphism controlled by adult circulating androgens.

    PubMed

    Cooke, B M; Tabibnia, G; Breedlove, S M

    1999-06-22

    Reports of structural differences between the brains of men and women, heterosexual and homosexual men, and male-to-female transsexuals and other men have been offered as evidence that the behavioral differences between these groups are likely caused by differences in the early development of the brain. However, a possible confounding variable is the concentration of circulating hormones seen in these groups in adulthood. Evaluation of this possibility hinges on the extent to which circulating hormones can alter the size of mammalian brain regions as revealed by Nissl stains. We now report a sexual dimorphism in the volume of a brain nucleus in rats that can be completely accounted for by adult sex differences in circulating androgen. The posterodorsal nucleus of the medial amygdala (MePD) has a greater volume in male rats than in females, but adult castration of males causes the volume to shrink to female values within four weeks, whereas androgen treatment of adult females for that period enlarges the MePD to levels equivalent to normal males. This report demonstrates that adult hormone manipulations can completely reverse a sexual dimorphism in brain regional volume in a mammalian species. The sex difference and androgen responsiveness of MePD volume is reflected in the soma size of neurons there. PMID:10377450

  17. Regulation of transcription factors on sexual dimorphism of fig wasps.

    PubMed

    Sun, Bao-Fa; Li, Yong-Xing; Jia, Ling-Yi; Niu, Li-Hua; Murphy, Robert W; Zhang, Peng; He, Shunmin; Huang, Da-Wei

    2015-01-01

    Fig wasps exhibit extreme intraspecific morphological divergence in the wings, compound eyes, antennae, body color, and size. Corresponding to this, behaviors and lifestyles between two sexes are also different: females can emerge from fig and fly to other fig tree to oviposit and pollinate, while males live inside fig for all their lifetime. Genetic regulation may drive these extreme intraspecific morphological and behavioral divergence. Transcription factors (TFs) involved in morphological development and physiological activity may exhibit sex-specific expressions. Herein, we detect 865 TFs by using genomic and transcriptomic data of the fig wasp Ceratosolen solmsi. Analyses of transcriptomic data indicated that up-regulated TFs in females show significant enrichment in development of the wing, eye and antenna in all stages, from larva to adult. Meanwhile, TFs related to the development of a variety of organs display sex-specific patterns of expression in the adults and these may contribute significantly to their sexual dimorphism. In addition, up-regulated TFs in adult males exhibit enrichment in genitalia development and circadian rhythm, which correspond with mating and protandry. This finding is consistent with their sex-specific behaviors. In conclusion, our results strongly indicate that TFs play important roles in the sexual dimorphism of fig wasps. PMID:26031454

  18. Variation in Craniomandibular Morphology and Sexual Dimorphism in Pantherines and the Sabercat Smilodon fatalis

    PubMed Central

    Christiansen, Per; Harris, John M.

    2012-01-01

    Sexual dimorphism is widespread among carnivorans, and has been an important evolutionary factor in social ecology. However, its presence in sabertoothed felids remains contentious. Here we present a comprehensive analysis of extant Panthera and the sabertoothed felid Smilodon fatalis. S. fatalis has been reported to show little or no sexual dimorphism but to have been intraspecifically variable in skull morphology. We found that large and small specimens of S. fatalis could be assigned to male and female sexes with similar degrees of confidence as Panthera based on craniomandibular shape. P. uncia is much less craniomandibularly variable and has low levels of sexual size-dimorphism. Shape variation in S. fatalis probably reflects sexual differences. Craniomandibular size-dimorphism is lower in S. fatalis than in Panthera except P. uncia. Sexual dimorphism in felids is related to more than overall size, and S. fatalis and the four large Panthera species show marked and similar craniomandibular and dental morphometric sexual dimorphism, whereas morphometric dimorphism in P. uncia is less. Many morphometric-sexually dimorphic characters in Panthera and Smilodon are related to bite strength and presumably to killing ecology. This suggests that morphometric sexual dimorphism is an evolutionary adaptation to intraspecific resource partitioning, since large males with thicker upper canines and stronger bite forces would be able to hunt larger prey than females, which is corroborated by feeding ecology in P. leo. Sexual dimorphism indicates that S. fatalis could have been social, but it is unlikely that it lived in fusion-fission units dominated by one or a few males, as in sub-Saharan populations of P. leo. Instead, S. fatalis could have been solitary and polygynous, as most extant felids, or it may have lived in unisexual groups, as is common in P. leo persica. PMID:23110232

  19. Between-sex genetic covariance constrains the evolution of sexual dimorphism in Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Ingleby, F C; Innocenti, P; Rundle, H D; Morrow, E H

    2014-08-01

    Males and females share much of their genome, and as a result, intralocus sexual conflict is generated when selection on a shared trait differs between the sexes. This conflict can be partially or entirely resolved via the evolution of sex-specific genetic variation that allows each sex to approach, or possibly achieve, its optimum phenotype, thereby generating sexual dimorphism. However, shared genetic variation between the sexes can impose constraints on the independent expression of a shared trait in males and females, hindering the evolution of sexual dimorphism. Here, we examine genetic constraints on the evolution of sexual dimorphism in Drosophila melanogaster cuticular hydrocarbon (CHC) expression. We use the extended G matrix, which includes the between-sex genetic covariances that constitute the B matrix, to compare genetic constraints on two sets of CHC traits that differ in the extent of their sexual dimorphism. We find significant genetic constraints on the evolution of further dimorphism in the least dimorphic traits, but no such constraints for the most dimorphic traits. We also show that the genetic constraints on the least dimorphic CHCs are asymmetrical between the sexes. Our results suggest that there is evidence both for resolved and ongoing sexual conflict in D. melanogaster CHC profiles. PMID:24893565

  20. Sexual selection explains sex-specific growth plasticity and positive allometry for sexual size dimorphism in a reef fish

    PubMed Central

    Walker, Stefan P. W.; McCormick, Mark I.

    2009-01-01

    In 1950, Rensch noted that in clades where males are the larger sex, sexual size dimorphism (SSD) tends to be more pronounced in larger species. This fundamental allometric relationship is now known as ‘Rensch's rule’. While most researchers attribute Rensch's rule to sexual selection for male size, experimental evidence is lacking. Here, we suggest that ultimate hypotheses for Rensch's rule should also apply to groups of individuals and that individual trait plasticity can be used to test those hypotheses experimentally. Specifically, we show that in the sex-changing fish Parapercis cylindrica, larger males have larger harems with larger females, and that SSD increases with harem size. Thus, sexual selection for male body size is the ultimate cause of sexual size allometry. In addition, we experimentally illustrate a positive relationship between polygyny potential and individual growth rate during sex change from female to male. Thus, sexual selection is the ultimate cause of variation in growth rate, and variation in growth rate is the proximate cause of sexual size allometry. Taken together, our results provide compelling evidence in support of the sexual selection hypothesis for Rensch's rule and highlight the potential importance of individual growth modification in the shaping of morphological patterns in Nature. PMID:19553253

  1. Sexual Dimorphism in Bite Performance Drives Morphological Variation in Chameleons

    PubMed Central

    da Silva, Jessica M.; Herrel, Anthony; Measey, G. John; Tolley, Krystal A.

    2014-01-01

    Phenotypic performance in different environments is central to understanding the evolutionary and ecological processes that drive adaptive divergence and, ultimately, speciation. Because habitat structure can affect an animal’s foraging behaviour, anti-predator defences, and communication behaviour, it can influence both natural and sexual selection pressures. These selective pressures, in turn, act upon morphological traits to maximize an animal’s performance. For performance traits involved in both social and ecological activities, such as bite force, natural and sexual selection often interact in complex ways, providing an opportunity to understand the adaptive significance of morphological variation with respect to habitat. Dwarf chameleons within the Bradypodion melanocephalum-Bradypodion thamnobates species complex have multiple phenotypic forms, each with a specific head morphology that could reflect its use of either open- or closed-canopy habitats. To determine whether these morphological differences represent adaptations to their habitats, we tested for differences in both absolute and relative bite performance. Only absolute differences were found between forms, with the closed-canopy forms biting harder than their open-canopy counterparts. In contrast, sexual dimorphism was found for both absolute and relative bite force, but the relative differences were limited to the closed-canopy forms. These results indicate that both natural and sexual selection are acting within both habitat types, but to varying degrees. Sexual selection seems to be the predominant force within the closed-canopy habitats, which are more protected from aerial predators, enabling chameleons to invest more in ornamentation for communication. In contrast, natural selection is likely to be the predominant force in the open-canopy habitats, inhibiting the development of conspicuous secondary sexual characteristics and, ultimately, enforcing their overall diminutive body size and

  2. Is Sexual Size Dimorphism Inherent in the Scallop Patinopecten yessoensis?

    PubMed Central

    Silina, Alla V.

    2016-01-01

    Studies on sexual size dimorphism in Pectinidae are limited. This work deals with the mobile long-lived scallop Patinopecten yessoensis, a common (fished and cultured) species in the subtidal benthos of the Sea of Japan. A previously developed method of age determination in P. yessoensis allowed me to compare the parameters of same aged males and females in scallop populations. The shell growth rates and sizes of both sexes were similar; therefore, it was only possible to visually identify the sex of live specimens during the breeding period (May-June). Statistical analyses showed female-biased dimorphism in the gonad weight for age groups that are >4 years old. Gonad weight (in the prespawning period) increased with age, until a threshold age was attained, which varied between populations; and then gonad weight remained virtually unchanged. The fecundity advantage hypothesis for P. yessoensis with group mating and external fertilization is at least partly realized by physiological mechanisms, which cause older females to have larger gonads than those of same aged males in the population in order to produce a larger brood. Gregarious settlement of this bivalve contributes to the reproductive success of the population so that the energetically costly ovaries may all be fertilized. PMID:27293980

  3. Climate change and sexual size dimorphism in an Arctic spider.

    PubMed

    Høye, Toke Thomas; Hammel, Jörg U; Fuchs, Thomas; Toft, Søren

    2009-08-23

    Climate change is advancing the onset of the growing season and this is happening at a particularly fast rate in the High Arctic. However, in most species the relative fitness implications for males and females remain elusive. Here, we present data on 10 successive cohorts of the wolf spider Pardosa glacialis from Zackenberg in High-Arctic, northeast Greenland. We found marked inter-annual variation in adult body size (carapace width) and this variation was greater in females than in males. Earlier snowmelt during both years of its biennial maturation resulted in larger adult body sizes and a skew towards positive sexual size dimorphism (females bigger than males). These results illustrate the pervasive influence of climate on key life-history traits and indicate that male and female responses to climate should be investigated separately whenever possible. PMID:19435831

  4. The neuronal control of hypoxic ventilation: erythropoietin and sexual dimorphism.

    PubMed

    Gassmann, Max; Tissot van Patot, Martha; Soliz, Jorge

    2009-10-01

    Using mice, we demonstrated that when oxygen supply is lowered, erythropoietin (Epo), the main regulator of red blood cell production, modulates the ventilatory response by interacting with central (brainstem) and peripheral (carotid bodies) respiratory centers. We showed that enhanced Epo levels in the brainstem increased the hypoxic ventilatory response, and that intracerebroventricular injection of an Epo antagonist (soluble Epo receptor) abolished the ventilatory acclimatization to hypoxia. More recently, we have found that the impact of Epo on ventilation occurs in a sex-dependent manner. Keeping in mind that women are less susceptible to several respiratory sicknesses and syndromes than men, we suggest that Epo plays a key role in sexually-dimorphic hypoxic ventilation. Accordingly, we foresee that Epo has a potential therapeutic use as treatment for hypoxia-associated ventilatory diseases. PMID:19845617

  5. Climate change and sexual size dimorphism in an Arctic spider

    PubMed Central

    Høye, Toke Thomas; Hammel, Jörg U.; Fuchs, Thomas; Toft, Søren

    2009-01-01

    Climate change is advancing the onset of the growing season and this is happening at a particularly fast rate in the High Arctic. However, in most species the relative fitness implications for males and females remain elusive. Here, we present data on 10 successive cohorts of the wolf spider Pardosa glacialis from Zackenberg in High-Arctic, northeast Greenland. We found marked inter-annual variation in adult body size (carapace width) and this variation was greater in females than in males. Earlier snowmelt during both years of its biennial maturation resulted in larger adult body sizes and a skew towards positive sexual size dimorphism (females bigger than males). These results illustrate the pervasive influence of climate on key life-history traits and indicate that male and female responses to climate should be investigated separately whenever possible. PMID:19435831

  6. Sexual size dimorphism in anadromous brown trout Salmo trutta.

    PubMed

    Jonsson, B; Jonsson, N

    2015-07-01

    Anadromous trout Salmo trutta exhibits sexual size dimorphism (SSD ); females were larger than males in populations where male mean total length (LT ) at maturity was below 49 cm and females were smaller than males when mean male LT was above 49 cm, the slope of the regression of female on male LT was 0·59. In streams with mean annual discharge below 41 m(3) s(-1) , flow added significantly to a model with SSD as the dependent variable and male mean LT at maturity as the first predictor variable. There was a slight increase in SSD with increasing latitude, which may result from an increase in male size with increasing latitude. PMID:25959597

  7. Sexual dimorphism in relation to big-game hunting and economy in modern human populations.

    PubMed

    Collier, S

    1993-08-01

    Postcranial skeletal data from two recent Eskimo populations are used to test David Frayer's model of sexual dimorphism reduction in Europe between the Upper Paleolithic and Mesolithic. Frayer argued that a change from big-game hunting and adoption of new technology in the Mesolithic reduced selection for large body size in males and led to a reduction in skeletal sexual dimorphism. Though aspects of Frayer's work have been criticized in the literature, the association of big-game hunting and high sexual dimorphism is untested. This study employs univariate and multivariate analysis to test that association by examining sexual dimorphism of cranial and postcranial bones of two recent Alaskan Eskimo populations, one being big-game (whale and other large marine mammal) hunting people, and the second being salmon fishing, riverine people. While big-game hunting influences skeletal robusticity, it cannot be said to lead to greater sexual dimorphism generally. The two populations had different relative sexual dimorphism levels for different parts of the body. Notably, the big-game hunting (whaling) Eskimos had the lower multivariate dimorphism in the humerus, which could be expected to be the structure under greatest exertion by such hunting in males. While the exertions of the whale hunting economic activities led to high skeletal robusticity, as predicted by Frayer's model, this was true of the females as well as the males, resulting in low sexual dimorphism in some features. Females are half the sexual dimorphism equation, and they cannot be seen as constants in any model of economic behavior. PMID:8372937

  8. Sexual dimorphism in cranial morphology among modern South Africans.

    PubMed

    Krüger, Gabriele Christa; L'Abbé, Ericka N; Stull, Kyra E; Kenyhercz, Michael W

    2015-07-01

    Pattern expressions of morphoscopic cranial traits vary across populations with classification accuracies being highly dependent on the reference collection to which unknown skulls are compared. Despite recent developments in population-specific standards for South Africans, researchers have not addressed the accuracy of morphological methods. Several studies demonstrate differences in sexual dimorphism between South Africans and North Americans, warranting a need to re-evaluate sex estimation methods in South Africa. The purposes of this study were to test the reliability and accuracy of the Walker (2008) method and to examine patterns of sexual dimorphism among South Africans. A total of 245 modern Black and White South African male and female crania from the Pretoria Bone Collection, University of Pretoria, were scored using the Walker (2008) methodology. Cohen's kappa was used to evaluate reliability of the method, and percent correct assessed validity of the method. Logistic regression was utilised to create modified population-specific formulae. Inter- and intra-observer agreement was moderate to excellent (0.60-0.90), except for the mental eminence (0.40). The percent correct results for sex were 80% or higher for combinations of glabella, mastoid and menton and between 68% and 73% for menton, mastoid, orbital and nuchal margin using logistic equations of Walker (2008). White males had the highest (94-97%) and White females had the lowest (31-62%) percent correct. The low accuracies obtained when using Walker's (2008) equations emphasised the need for population-specific sex estimation models. Modified formulae for South Africans were created, yielding higher classification rates (84-93%) than when North American standards were employed. PMID:25394745

  9. Sexual dimorphism in the osmopressor response following water ingestion.

    PubMed

    Mendonca, Goncalo V; Teodósio, Carolina; Lucena, Rui; Pereira, Fernando D

    2016-07-01

    There is conflicting evidence as to whether water drinking elicits a pressor response in healthy young adults. The inclusion of a variable number of women may have contributed to the discrepancies found in past research. Thus, we aimed at exploring whether the osmopressor response follows a sexually dimorphic pattern. In a randomized fashion, 31 healthy adults (16 men; 15 women, aged 18-40 years) ingested 50 and 500 ml of water before completing a resting protocol on two separate days. Arterial blood pressure, heart rate and spectral heart rate variability were measured in the seated position at pre- and post-25 min of water ingestion. Women responded to 500 ml of water with a greater proportion of change in diastolic and mean arterial pressure (MAP) (P<0.05). Conversely, the percent change in systolic blood pressure (SBP) and heart rate was not different between sexes after 500 ml of water. Overall, women demonstrated lower blood pressure, but higher resting heart rate compared with men (P<0.05). In contrast, heart rate variability was similar between sexes before and after ingesting either volume of water. There was a bradycardic effect of water and, irrespectively of sex; this was accompanied by increased high frequency power (HF) (P<0.05). We conclude that women display a greater magnitude of pressor response than men post-water ingestion. Accordingly, we provide direct evidence of sexual dimorphism in the haemodynamic response to water intake in young healthy adults. PMID:27129286

  10. Sexual dimorphism of human sternum in a contemporary Spanish population.

    PubMed

    García-Parra, Patricia; Pérez Fernández, Ángela; Djorojevic, Mirjana; Botella, Miguel; Alemán, Inmaculada

    2014-11-01

    Sex estimation is one of the first steps in forensic anthropology to identify human remains. In absence of the skull or the pelvis, any skeletal remain becomes fundamental for identification, especially in mass-disaster cases. The sternum is a potentially useful element in anthropological analysis with a high recovery rate in both forensic-and archaeological context. This study aims to develop classification functions for use in Spanish population. For this, sternum sexual dimorphism is studied in a sample of 105 individuals, known age-at-death, ancestry and sex, from San José Municipal Cemetery of Granada (Spain). Lin's concordance correlation coefficient was used to estimate intra-and inter-observer error. In discriminant analysis for estimating sex, cross-validation shows accuracy rates exceeds 90% for sternum body length and maximum width (91.8%), or total length with maximum width (90.7%). Isolated variables with higher accuracy rates are total sternum length (89.1%), and sternum body length (87%). Although there is compliance with Hyrtl's law it is not useful for estimating sex in Spanish population. These discriminant functions have also been validated successfully in two samples from Portugal (Coimbra identified skeletal collection--CISC, and 21st century identified ckeletal collection--Santarém XXI): the variables with higher accuracy rates sternum total length with its maximum width (92.3% the correctly classified individual in the sample CISC; and 83.5% in the sample of Santarém XXI) and the sternum total length (92.1% and 78.5%, respectively). The discriminant functions achieved with the collection of the San Jose cemetery of Granada can be applied to current remains, provided that study populations present a similar sexual dimorphism, like the two samples from Portuguese population presented in this study. PMID:25102779

  11. Males Resemble Females: Re-Evaluating Sexual Dimorphism in Protoceratops andrewsi (Neoceratopsia, Protoceratopsidae)

    PubMed Central

    Maiorino, Leonardo; Farke, Andrew A.; Kotsakis, Tassos; Piras, Paolo

    2015-01-01

    Background Protoceratops andrewsi (Neoceratopsia, Protoceratopsidae) is a well-known dinosaur from the Upper Cretaceous of Mongolia. Some previous workers hypothesized sexual dimorphism in the cranial shape of this taxon, using qualitative and quantitative observations. In particular, width and height of the frill as well as the development of a nasal horn have been hypothesized as potentially sexually dimorphic. Methodology/Principal Findings Here, we reassess potential sexual dimorphism in skulls of Protoceratops andrewsi by applying two-dimensional geometric morphometrics to 29 skulls in lateral and dorsal views. Principal Component Analyses and nonparametric MANOVAs recover no clear separation between hypothetical “males” and “females” within the overall morphospace. Males and females thus possess similar overall cranial morphologies. No differences in size between “males” and “females” are recovered using nonparametric ANOVAs. Conclusions/Significance Sexual dimorphism within Protoceratops andrewsi is not strongly supported by our results, as previously proposed by several authors. Anatomical traits such as height and width of the frill, and skull size thus may not be sexually dimorphic. Based on PCA for a data set focusing on the rostrum and associated ANOVA results, nasal horn height is the only feature with potential dimorphism. As a whole, most purported dimorphic variation is probably primarily the result of ontogenetic cranial shape changes as well as intraspecific cranial variation independent of sex. PMID:25951329

  12. The Ontogeny of Sexual Size Dimorphism of a Moth: When Do Males and Females Grow Apart?

    PubMed Central

    Stillwell, R. Craig; Daws, Andrew; Davidowitz, Goggy

    2014-01-01

    Sexual dimorphism in body size (sexual size dimorphism) is common in many species. The sources of selection that generate the independent evolution of adult male and female size have been investigated extensively by evolutionary biologists, but how and when females and males grow apart during ontogeny is poorly understood. Here we use the hawkmoth, Manduca sexta, to examine when sexual size dimorphism arises by measuring body mass every day during development. We further investigated whether environmental variables influence the ontogeny of sexual size dimorphism by raising moths on three different diet qualities (poor, medium and high). We found that size dimorphism arose during early larval development on the highest quality food treatment but it arose late in larval development when raised on the medium quality food. This female-biased dimorphism (females larger) increased substantially from the pupal-to-adult stage in both treatments, a pattern that appears to be common in Lepidopterans. Although dimorphism appeared in a few stages when individuals were raised on the poorest quality diet, it did not persist such that male and female adults were the same size. This demonstrates that the environmental conditions that insects are raised in can affect the growth trajectories of males and females differently and thus when dimorphism arises or disappears during development. We conclude that the development of sexual size dimorphism in M. sexta occurs during larval development and continues to accumulate during the pupal/adult stages, and that environmental variables such as diet quality can influence patterns of dimorphism in adults. PMID:25184664

  13. Range extension of Lepidocephalichthys alkaia (Teleostei: Cobitidae) and notes on its sexual dimorphism

    PubMed Central

    ENDRUWEIT, Marco

    2016-01-01

    The natural distributional range of the cobitid loach Lepidocephalichthys alkaia is extended into Yunnan Province,China. The modified sexually dimorphic pectoral fin in males of L. alkaia is described. PMID:27265657

  14. Sexually dimorphic effects of ancestral exposure to vinclozolin on stress reactivity in rats.

    PubMed

    Gillette, Ross; Miller-Crews, Isaac; Nilsson, Eric E; Skinner, Michael K; Gore, Andrea C; Crews, David

    2014-10-01

    How an individual responds to the environment depends upon both personal life history as well as inherited genetic and epigenetic factors from ancestors. Using a 2-hit, 3 generations apart model, we tested how F3 descendants of rats given in utero exposure to the environmental endocrine-disrupting chemical (EDC) vinclozolin reacted to stress during adolescence in their own lives, focusing on sexually dimorphic phenotypic outcomes. In adulthood, male and female F3 vinclozolin- or vehicle-lineage rats, stressed or nonstressed, were behaviorally characterized on a battery of tests and then euthanized. Serum was used for hormone assays, and brains were used for quantitative PCR and transcriptome analyses. Results showed that the effects of ancestral exposure to vinclozolin converged with stress experienced during adolescence in a sexually dimorphic manner. Debilitating effects were seen at all levels of the phenotype, including physiology, behavior, brain metabolism, gene expression, and genome-wide transcriptome modifications in specific brain nuclei. Additionally, females were significantly more vulnerable than males to transgenerational effects of vinclozolin on anxiety but not sociality tests. This fundamental transformation occurs in a manner not predicted by the ancestral exposure or the proximate effects of stress during adolescence, an interaction we refer to as synchronicity. PMID:25051444

  15. Sexually Dimorphic Effects of Ancestral Exposure to Vinclozolin on Stress Reactivity in Rats

    PubMed Central

    Gillette, Ross; Miller-Crews, Isaac; Nilsson, Eric E.; Skinner, Michael K.; Gore, Andrea C.

    2014-01-01

    How an individual responds to the environment depends upon both personal life history as well as inherited genetic and epigenetic factors from ancestors. Using a 2-hit, 3 generations apart model, we tested how F3 descendants of rats given in utero exposure to the environmental endocrine-disrupting chemical (EDC) vinclozolin reacted to stress during adolescence in their own lives, focusing on sexually dimorphic phenotypic outcomes. In adulthood, male and female F3 vinclozolin- or vehicle-lineage rats, stressed or nonstressed, were behaviorally characterized on a battery of tests and then euthanized. Serum was used for hormone assays, and brains were used for quantitative PCR and transcriptome analyses. Results showed that the effects of ancestral exposure to vinclozolin converged with stress experienced during adolescence in a sexually dimorphic manner. Debilitating effects were seen at all levels of the phenotype, including physiology, behavior, brain metabolism, gene expression, and genome-wide transcriptome modifications in specific brain nuclei. Additionally, females were significantly more vulnerable than males to transgenerational effects of vinclozolin on anxiety but not sociality tests. This fundamental transformation occurs in a manner not predicted by the ancestral exposure or the proximate effects of stress during adolescence, an interaction we refer to as synchronicity. PMID:25051444

  16. Ontogeny of the sexually dimorphic area of the gerbil hypothalamus.

    PubMed

    Ulibarri, C M; Yahr, P

    1993-07-16

    The sexually dimorphic area (SDA) of the gerbil hypothalamus is a set of cell groups in the medial preoptic area that is essential for masculine sexual behavior and implicated in the hormonal control of scent making and ultrasound production. The adult SDA shrinks after gonadectomy unless the gerbils receive testosterone. So does the SDA pars compacta, a small cell group in the SDA of males that is seldom seen in females. Here, development of the SDA and SDApc, and of a second, small, compact cell group, the cmSDApc, that lies caudal and medial to the SDApc, is described. Development of the SDApc and cmSDApc was studied quantitatively by assessing their incidence and volume in both sexes from birth (PND 1) to adulthood (PND 150). The volume of the entire SDA was studied from PND 45 to 150. In male gerbils, puberty begins around PND 40 and is complete by PND 90-120. The male SDA enlarged relative to the cross-sectional area of the hypothalamus as puberty began, but the female SDA did not. The SDApc was present in virtually all gerbils at birth and was the same size in both sexes. Over the next two weeks, the SDApcs of females disappeared while those of males persisted and doubled in size. Like the SDApc, the cmSDApc was larger and more common in males than in females, but it became smaller and less prevalent in both sexes during the first two weeks after birth. PMID:8403369

  17. Sexually dimorphic nonreproductive behaviors as indicators of endocrine disruption.

    PubMed Central

    Weiss, Bernard

    2002-01-01

    Measures of cognitive and other behaviors not specifically related to reproduction are often sex-linked. Males and females perform differently on many tasks and often interact with members of their species in dissimilar ways. If such differences are diminished, reversed, or widened by prenatal chemical exposures, a reasonable inference is that exposure interfered with sexual differentiation of the brain, largely, but not exclusively, through interference with the actions of gonadal hormones. Explicit recognition of sex differences in performance is not a prominent feature of toxicity testing, however, except for reproduction studies, and is not a recognized criterion in developmental neurotoxicity testing. In contrast to the low visibility accorded sex differences in testing protocols for the assessment of developmental neurotoxicity, the literature is filled with examples showing that the developing male and female respond differently to many chemical agents, with subsequent expression in behavior. Quite often, even when such differences are reported, further analyses are not carried out nor are subsequent studies conducted for clarification. Moreover, many investigators include only male subjects. Both polychlorinated biphenyls and 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) studies provide several examples of striking differences between the behavioral responses of male and female offspring to developmental exposure. They offer examples, as well, of how to approach the study and analysis of such differences. Given the societal importance of risk assessments applied to potential developmental neurotoxicants, studies should be deemed questionable if they fail to include outcome measures based on sexual dimorphisms in nonreproductive behaviors. PMID:12060833

  18. A test of the size-constraint hypothesis for a limit to sexual dimorphism in plants.

    PubMed

    Labouche, Anne-Marie; Pannell, John R

    2016-07-01

    In flowering plants, many dioecious species display a certain degree of sexual dimorphism in non-reproductive traits, but this dimorphism tends to be much less striking than that found in animals. Sexual size dimorphism in plants may be limited because competition for light in crowded environments so strongly penalises small plants. The idea that competition for light constrains the evolution of strong sexual size dimorphism in plants (the size-constraint hypothesis) implies a strong dependency of the expression of sexual size dimorphism on the neighbouring density as a result of the capacity of plants to adjust their reproductive effort and investment in growth in response to their local environment. Here, we tested this hypothesis by experimentally altering the context of competition for light among male-female pairs of the light-demanding dioecious annual plant Mercurialis annua. We found that males were smaller than females across all treatments, but sexual size dimorphism was diminished for pairs grown at higher densities. This result is consistent with the size-constraint hypothesis. We discuss our results in terms of the tension between selection on size acting in opposite directions on males and females, which have different optima under sexual selection, and stabilizing selection for similar sizes in males and females, which have similar optima under viability selection for plasticity in size expression under different density conditions. PMID:27037560

  19. Differential Juvenile Hormone Variations in Scale Insect Extreme Sexual Dimorphism

    PubMed Central

    Vea, Isabelle Mifom; Tanaka, Sayumi; Shiotsuki, Takahiro; Jouraku, Akiya; Tanaka, Toshiharu; Minakuchi, Chieka

    2016-01-01

    Scale insects have evolved extreme sexual dimorphism, as demonstrated by sedentary juvenile-like females and ephemeral winged males. This dimorphism is established during the post-embryonic development; however, the underlying regulatory mechanisms have not yet been examined. We herein assessed the role of juvenile hormone (JH) on the diverging developmental pathways occurring in the male and female Japanese mealybug Planococcus kraunhiae (Kuwana). We provide, for the first time, detailed gene expression profiles related to JH signaling in scale insects. Prior to adult emergence, the transcript levels of JH acid O-methyltransferase, encoding a rate-limiting enzyme in JH biosynthesis, were higher in males than in females, suggesting that JH levels are higher in males. Furthermore, male quiescent pupal-like stages were associated with higher transcript levels of the JH receptor gene, Methoprene-tolerant and its co-activator taiman, as well as the JH early-response genes, Krüppel homolog 1 and broad. The exposure of male juveniles to an ectopic JH mimic prolonged the expression of Krüppel homolog 1 and broad, and delayed adult emergence by producing a supernumeral pupal stage. We propose that male wing development is first induced by up-regulated JH signaling compared to female expression pattern, but a decrease at the end of the prepupal stage is necessary for adult emergence, as evidenced by the JH mimic treatments. Furthermore, wing development seems linked to JH titers as JHM treatments on the pupal stage led to wing deformation. The female pedomorphic appearance was not reflected by the maintenance of high levels of JH. The results in this study suggest that differential variations in JH signaling may be responsible for sex-specific and radically different modes of metamorphosis. PMID:26894583

  20. Macroevolutionary patterns of sexual size dimorphism in copepods.

    PubMed

    Hirst, Andrew G; Kiørboe, Thomas

    2014-09-22

    Major theories compete to explain the macroevolutionary trends observed in sexual size dimorphism (SSD) in animals. Quantitative genetic theory suggests that the sex under historically stronger directional selection will exhibit greater interspecific variance in size, with covariation between allometric slopes (male to female size) and the strength of SSD across clades. Rensch's rule (RR) also suggests a correlation, but one in which males are always the more size variant sex. Examining free-living pelagic and parasitic Copepoda, we test these competing predictions. Females are commonly the larger sex in copepod species. Comparing clades that vary by four orders of magnitude in their degree of dimorphism, we show that isometry is widespread. As such we find no support for either RR or for covariation between allometry and SSD. Our results suggest that selection on both sexes has been equally important. We next test the prediction that variation in the degree of SSD is related to the adult sex ratio. As males become relatively less abundant, it has been hypothesized that this will lead to a reduction in both inter-male competition and male size. However, the lack of such a correlation across diverse free-living pelagic families of copepods provides no support for this hypothesis. By comparison, in sea lice of the family Caligidae, there is some qualitative support of the hypothesis, males may suffer elevated mortality when they leave the host and rove for sedentary females, and their female-biased SSD is greater than in many free-living families. However, other parasitic copepods which do not appear to have obvious differences in sex-based mate searching risks also show similar or even more extreme SSD, therefore suggesting other factors can drive the observed extremes. PMID:25100692

  1. The Permian mammal-like herbivore Diictodon, the oldest known example of sexually dimorphic armament.

    PubMed Central

    Sullivan, Corwin; Reisz, Robert R; Smith, Roger M H

    2003-01-01

    Dicynodonts, a highly successful group of Palaeozoic tetrapods, were herbivores with keratinous beaks, and were frequently equipped with large, neomorphic tusks. Diictodon is a particularly abundant dicynodont genus, allowing statistical investigation of its palaeobiology. Anatomical, morphometric and distributional analyses provide evidence of sexual dimorphism, based on the presence or absence of formidable tusks. Tusk occurrence is also correlated with the presence of a cranial boss on the skull roof and, possibly, with greater cranial size. This earliest well-documented example of dimorphic armament suggests that sexual dimorphism, and the complex social behaviour that accompanies it, have long been characteristic of the synapsid lineage. PMID:12590756

  2. The geography of sex-specific selection, local adaptation, and sexual dimorphism.

    PubMed

    Connallon, Tim

    2015-09-01

    Local adaptation and sexual dimorphism are iconic evolutionary scenarios of intraspecific adaptive differentiation in the face of gene flow. Although theory has traditionally considered local adaptation and sexual dimorphism as conceptually distinct processes, emerging data suggest that they often act concurrently during evolutionary diversification. Here, I merge theories of local adaptation in space and sex-specific adaptation over time, and show that their confluence yields several new predictions about the roles of context-specific selection, migration, and genetic correlations, in adaptive diversification. I specifically revisit two influential predictions from classical studies of clinal adaptation and sexual dimorphism: (1) that local adaptation should decrease with distance from the species' range center and (2) that opposing directional selection between the sexes (sexual antagonism) should inevitably accompany the evolution of sexual dimorphism. I show that both predictions can break down under clinally varying selection. First, the geography of local adaptation can be sexually dimorphic, with locations of relatively high local adaptation differing profoundly between the sexes. Second, the intensity of sexual antagonism varies across the species' range, with subpopulations near the range center representing hotspots for antagonistic selection. The results highlight the context-dependent roles of migration versus sexual conflict as primary constraints to adaptive diversification. PMID:26194274

  3. Introducing the refined gravity hypothesis of extreme sexual size dimorphism

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Explanations for the evolution of female-biased, extreme Sexual Size Dimorphism (SSD), which has puzzled researchers since Darwin, are still controversial. Here we propose an extension of the Gravity Hypothesis (i.e., the GH, which postulates a climbing advantage for small males) that in conjunction with the fecundity hypothesis appears to have the most general power to explain the evolution of SSD in spiders so far. In this "Bridging GH" we propose that bridging locomotion (i.e., walking upside-down under own-made silk bridges) may be behind the evolution of extreme SSD. A biomechanical model shows that there is a physical constraint for large spiders to bridge. This should lead to a trade-off between other traits and dispersal in which bridging would favor smaller sizes and other selective forces (e.g. fecundity selection in females) would favor larger sizes. If bridging allows faster dispersal, small males would have a selective advantage by enjoying more mating opportunities. We predicted that both large males and females would show a lower propensity to bridge, and that SSD would be negatively correlated with sexual dimorphism in bridging propensity. To test these hypotheses we experimentally induced bridging in males and females of 13 species of spiders belonging to the two clades in which bridging locomotion has evolved independently and in which most of the cases of extreme SSD in spiders are found. Results We found that 1) as the degree of SSD increased and females became larger, females tended to bridge less relative to males, and that 2) smaller males and females show a higher propensity to bridge. Conclusions Physical constraints make bridging inefficient for large spiders. Thus, in species where bridging is a very common mode of locomotion, small males, by being more efficient at bridging, will be competitively superior and enjoy more mating opportunities. This "Bridging GH" helps to solve the controversial question of what keeps males small

  4. Reproductive skew drives patterns of sexual dimorphism in sponge-dwelling snapping shrimps

    PubMed Central

    Chak, Solomon Tin Chi; Duffy, J. Emmett; Rubenstein, Dustin R.

    2015-01-01

    Sexual dimorphism is typically a result of strong sexual selection on male traits used in male–male competition and subsequent female choice. However, in social species where reproduction is monopolized by one or a few individuals in a group, selection on secondary sexual characteristics may be strong in both sexes. Indeed, sexual dimorphism is reduced in many cooperatively breeding vertebrates and eusocial insects with totipotent workers, presumably because of increased selection on female traits. Here, we examined the relationship between sexual dimorphism and sociality in eight species of Synalpheus snapping shrimps that vary in social structure and degree of reproductive skew. In species where reproduction was shared more equitably, most members of both sexes were physiologically capable of breeding. However, in species where reproduction was monopolized by a single individual, a large proportion of females—but not males—were reproductively inactive, suggesting stronger reproductive suppression and conflict among females. Moreover, as skew increased across species, proportional size of the major chela—the primary antagonistic weapon in snapping shrimps—increased among females and sexual dimorphism in major chela size declined. Thus, as reproductive skew increases among Synalpheus, female–female competition over reproduction appears to increase, resulting in decreased sexual dimorphism in weapon size. PMID:26041357

  5. Sexual dimorphism in venom chemistry in Tetragnatha spiders is not easily explained by adult niche differences.

    PubMed

    Binford, Greta J; Gillespie, Rosemary G; Maddison, Wayne P

    2016-05-01

    Spider venom composition typically differs between sexes. This pattern is anecdotally thought to reflect differences in adult feeding biology. We used a phylogenetic approach to compare intersexual venom dimorphism between species that differ in adult niche dimorphism. Male and female venoms were compared within and between related species of Hawaiian Tetragnatha, a mainland congener, and outgroups. In some species of Hawaiian Tetragnatha adult females spin orb-webs and adult males capture prey while wandering, while in other species both males and females capture prey by wandering. We predicted that, if venom sexual dimorphism is primarily explained by differences in adult feeding biology, species in which both sexes forage by wandering would have monomorphic venoms or venoms with reduced dimorphism relative to species with different adult feeding biology. However, we found striking sexual dimorphism in venoms of both wandering and orb-weaving Tetragnatha species with males having high molecular weight components in their venoms that were absent in females, and a reduced concentration of low molecular weight components relative to females. Intersexual differences in venom composition within Tetragnatha were significantly larger than in non-Tetragnatha species. Diet composition was not different between sexes. This striking venom dimorphism is not easily explained by differences in feeding ecology or behavior. Rather, we hypothesize that the dimorphism reflects male-specific components that play a role in mating biology possibly in sexual stimulation, nuptial gifts and/or mate recognition. PMID:26908290

  6. Sexual dimorphism and mating behavior in Anomala testaceipennis.

    PubMed

    Rodrigues, Sérgio Roberto; Gomes, Elias Soares; Bento, José Maurício Simões

    2014-01-01

    The beetle, Anomala testaceipennis Blanchard (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae), occurs in central-western Brazil where larvae feed on the roots of plants causing damage. This research aimed to study sexual dimorphism and mating behavior of A. testaceipennis. Adults of A. testaceipennis were collected with light traps in the experimental area of the State University of Mato Grosso do Sul, in Aquidauana. Laboratory experiments were performed to describe copulation behavior and adult morphology of males and females. In males the last abdominal segment has a pronounced constriction, which is absent in females, and the male's last segment of the first pair of legs has a ventral projection, which is poorly developed in females. The mating activities of adults begin soon after sunset, when adults leave the soil and fly. When the male encounters a female, he touches her with antennae and tarsi. If accepted, the male climbs on the female and remains on her back, and soon after the copulation begins. When the female does not accept the male for mating, she moves rapidly and can roll on the ground, and by so removing the male. In the field, adults feed and mate on bloomed trees of Oiti, Licania tomentosa Benth (Malpighiales: Chrysobalanaceae) and Louro, Cordia glabrata Martius (Boraginaceae). In trees without inflorescences no adults of this species were found. PMID:25502043

  7. Evidence of sexually dimorphic introgression in Pinaleno Mountain Apache trout

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Porath, M.T.; Nielsen, J.L.

    2003-01-01

    The high-elevation headwater streams of the Pinaleno Mountains support small populations of threatened Apache trout Oncorhynchus apache that were stocked following the chemical removal of nonnative salmonids in the 1960s. A fisheries survey to assess population composition, growth, and size structure confirmed angler reports of infrequent occurrences of Oncorhynchus spp. exhibiting the external morphological characteristics of both Apache trout and rainbow trout O. mykiss. Nonlethal tissue samples were collected from 50 individuals in the headwaters of each stream. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequencing and amplification of nuclear microsatellite loci were used to determine the levels of genetic introgression by rainbow trout in Apache trout populations at these locations. Sexually dimorphic introgression from the spawning of male rainbow trout with female Apache trout was detected using mtDNA and microsatellites. Estimates of the degree of hybridization based on three microsatellite loci were 10-88%. The use of nonlethal DNA genetic analyses can supplement information obtained from standard survey methods and be useful in assessing the relative importance of small and sensitive populations with a history of nonnative introductions.

  8. Environmental Health Factors and Sexually Dimorphic Differences in Behavioral Disruptions

    PubMed Central

    Rosenfeld, Cheryl S.; Trainor, Brian C.

    2015-01-01

    Mounting evidence suggests that environmental factors—in particular, those that we are exposed to during perinatal life—can dramatically shape the organism’s risk for later diseases, including neurobehavioral disorders. However, depending on the environmental insult, one sex may demonstrate greater vulnerability than the other sex. Herein, we focus on two well-defined extrinsic environmental factors that lead to sexually dimorphic behavioral differences in animal models and linkage in human epidemiological studies. These include maternal or psychosocial stress (such as social stress) and exposure to endocrine-disrupting compounds (such as one of the most prevalent, bisphenol A [BPA]). In general, the evidence suggests that early environmental exposures, such as BPA and stress, lead to more pronounced behavioral deficits in males than in females, whereas female neurobehavioral patterns are more vulnerable to later in life stress. These findings highlight the importance of considering sex differences and developmental timing when examining the effects of environmental factors on later neurobehavioral outcomes. PMID:25705580

  9. Sexually dimorphic RB inactivation underlies mesenchymal glioblastoma prevalence in males

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Tao; Warrington, Nicole M.; Luo, Jingqin; Brooks, Michael D.; Dahiya, Sonika; Snyder, Steven C.; Sengupta, Rajarshi; Rubin, Joshua B.

    2014-01-01

    The prevalence of brain tumors in males is common but unexplained. While sex differences in disease are typically mediated through acute sex hormone actions, sex-specific differences in brain tumor rates are comparable at all ages, suggesting that factors other than sex hormones underlie this discrepancy. We found that mesenchymal glioblastoma (Mes-GBM) affects more males as the result of cell-intrinsic sexual dimorphism in astrocyte transformation. We used astrocytes from neurofibromin-deficient (Nf1–/–) mice expressing a dominant-negative form of the tumor suppressor p53 (DNp53) and treated them with EGF as a Mes-GBM model. Male Mes-GBM astrocytes exhibited greater growth and colony formation compared with female Mes-GBM astrocytes. Moreover, male Mes-GBM astrocytes underwent greater tumorigenesis in vivo, regardless of recipient mouse sex. Male Mes-GBM astrocytes exhibited greater inactivation of the tumor suppressor RB, higher proliferation rates, and greater induction of a clonogenic, stem-like cell population compared with female Mes-GBM astrocytes. Furthermore, complete inactivation of RB and p53 in Mes-GBM astrocytes resulted in equivalent male and female tumorigenic transformation, indicating that intrinsic differences in RB activation are responsible for the predominance of tumorigenic transformation in male astrocytes. Together, these results indicate that cell-intrinsic sex differences in RB regulation and stem-like cell function may underlie the predominance of GBM in males. PMID:25083989

  10. Sexual dimorphic effects of chronic phencyclidine in rats.

    PubMed

    Wessinger, W D

    1995-04-13

    The behavioral effects of phencyclidine (PCP) were studied in male and female Sprague-Dawley rats to determine if chronic infusions would result in sexually dimorphic effects. Rats were trained to make operant responses for food during 30-min response periods that occurred 4 times each day. After attaining stable baseline behaviors, 10 mg of PCP/kg/day was infused s.c. for 10 days. Females were more profoundly affected than males. In the females, response rates were suppressed to 30-71% of control rates during the first 7 days of infusion. In contrast, response rate in male rats never fell below 77% of control during the infusion period. By the eighth infusion day both sexes had become tolerant to these behavioral effects. After stopping infusions there was clear evidence that behavioral dependence had developed; however, the abstinence effects in males and females were similar. Saturation studies of [3H]dizocilpine (MK-801; (+)-5-methyl-10,11-dihydro-5H-dibenzo[a,d]cyclohepten-5,10-imine) binding to brain membranes were conducted to determine if there were sex-dependent receptor differences. There were no significant differences in Kd +/- S.D. (7.6 +/- 1.5 and 7.1 +/- 0.9 nM for males and females, respectively) or Bmax +/- S.D. (4.1 +/- 0.2 and 4.0 +/- 0.5 pmol/mg protein for males and females, respectively). PMID:7635165

  11. Sexually Dimorphic White Matter Geometry Abnormalities in Adolescent Onset Schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Savadjiev, P.; Whitford, T.J.; Hough, M.E.; Clemm von Hohenberg, C.; Bouix, S.; Westin, C.-F.; Shenton, M.E.; Crow, T.J.; James, A.C.; Kubicki, M.

    2014-01-01

    The normal human brain is characterized by a pattern of gross anatomical asymmetry. This pattern, known as the “torque”, is associated with a sexual dimorphism: The male brain tends to be more asymmetric than that of the female. This fact, along with well-known sex differences in brain development (faster in females) and onset of psychosis (earlier with worse outcome in males), has led to the theory that schizophrenia is a disorder in which sex-dependent abnormalities in the development of brain torque, the correlate of the capacity for language, cause alterations in interhemispheric connectivity, which are causally related to psychosis (Crow TJ, Paez P, Chance SE. 2007. Callosal misconnectivity and the sex difference in psychosis. Int Rev Psychiatry. 19(4):449–457.). To provide evidence toward this theory, we analyze the geometry of interhemispheric white matter connections in adolescent-onset schizophrenia, with a particular focus on sex, using a recently introduced framework for white matter geometry computation in diffusion tensor imaging data (Savadjiev P, Kindlmann GL, Bouix S, Shenton ME, Westin CF. 2010. Local white geometry from diffusion tensor gradients. Neuroimage. 49(4):3175–3186.). Our results reveal a pattern of sex-dependent white matter geometry abnormalities that conform to the predictions of Crow's torque theory and correlate with the severity of patients' symptoms. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to associate geometrical differences in white matter connectivity with torque in schizophrenia. PMID:23307635

  12. A Comparative, Developmental, and Clinical Perspective of Neurobehavioral Sexual Dimorphisms

    PubMed Central

    Viveros, Maria-Paz; Mendrek, Adriana; Paus, Tomáš; López-Rodríguez, Ana Belén; Marco, Eva Maria; Yehuda, Rachel; Cohen, Hagit; Lehrner, Amy; Wagner, Edward J.

    2012-01-01

    Women and men differ in a wide variety of behavioral traits and in their vulnerability to developing certain mental disorders. This review endeavors to explore how recent preclinical and clinical research findings have enhanced our understanding of the factors that underlie these disparities. We start with a brief overview of some of the important genetic, molecular, and hormonal determinants that contribute to the process of sexual differentiation. We then discuss the importance of animal models in studying the mechanisms responsible for sex differences in neuropsychiatric disorders (e.g., drug dependence) – with a special emphasis on experimental models based on the neurodevelopmental and “three hits” hypotheses. Next, we describe the most common brain phenotypes observed in vivo with magnetic resonance imaging. We discuss the challenges in interpreting these phenotypes vis-à-vis the underlying neurobiology and revisit the known sex differences in brain structure from birth, through adolescence, and into adulthood. This is followed by a presentation of pertinent clinical and epidemiological data that point to important sex differences in the prevalence, course, and expression of psychopathologies such as schizophrenia, and mood disorders including major depression and posttraumatic stress disorder. Recent evidence implies that mood disorders and psychosis share some common genetic predispositions and neurobiological bases. Therefore, modern research is emphasizing dimensional representation of mental disorders and conceptualization of schizophrenia and major depression as a continuum of cognitive deficits and neurobiological abnormalities. Herein, we examine available evidence on cerebral sexual dimorphism to verify if sex differences vary quantitatively and/or qualitatively along the psychoses-depression continuum. Finally, sex differences in the prevalence of posttraumatic disorder and drug abuse have been described, and we consider the genomic and

  13. Evasion of predators contributes to the maintenance of male eyes in sexually dimorphic Euphilomedes ostracods (Crustacea).

    PubMed

    Speiser, Daniel I; Lampe, Rebecca I; Lovdahl, Valerie R; Carrillo-Zazueta, Brenna; Rivera, Ajna S; Oakley, Todd H

    2013-07-01

    Sexual dimorphisms have long drawn the attention of evolutionary biologists. However, we still have much to learn about the evolutionary, genetic, and developmental drivers of sexual dimorphisms. Here, we introduce ostracods of the genus Euphilomedes (Myodocopida, Ostracoda, and Crustacea) as a promising new system in which to investigate why and how sexual dimorphisms evolve. First, we ask whether male-skewed selective pressure from pelagic predators may help explain a dramatic sexual dimorphism in which male Euphilomedes have compound eyes, but females do not. Manipulative experiments demonstrate that blindfolding reduces the survival rate of male Euphilomedes when they are exposed to predatory fish. Blindfolding of the female rudimentary eyes (rudiments) does not, however, similarly influence the survival rate of brooding females. Further, numerical estimates of sighting distances, based on reasonable extrapolations from Euphilomedes's eye morphology, suggest that the eyes of male Euphilomedes are useful for detecting objects roughly the size of certain pelagic predators, but not conspecifics. We conclude that eyes do not mediate direct interactions between male and female Euphilomedes, but that differences in predation pressure-perhaps associated with different reproductive behaviors-contribute to maintaining the sexually dimorphic eyes of these ostracods. Second, through transcriptome sequencing, we examined potential gene regulatory networks that could underlie sexual dimorphism in Euphilomedes' eyes. From the transcriptome of juvenile male Euphilomedes' eyes, we identified phototransduction genes and components of eye-related developmental networks that are well characterized in Drosophila and other species. The presence of suites of eye regulatory genes in our Euphilomedes juvenile male transcriptome will allow us, in future studies, to test how ostracods regulate the development of their sexually dimorphic eyes. PMID:23652199

  14. Sex chromosome linked genetic variance and the evolution of sexual dimorphism of quantitative traits.

    PubMed

    Husby, Arild; Schielzeth, Holger; Forstmeier, Wolfgang; Gustafsson, Lars; Qvarnström, Anna

    2013-03-01

    Theory predicts that sex chromsome linkage should reduce intersexual genetic correlations thereby allowing the evolution of sexual dimorphism. Empirical evidence for sex linkage has come largely from crosses and few studies have examined how sexual dimorphism and sex linkage are related within outbred populations. Here, we use data on an array of different traits measured on over 10,000 individuals from two pedigreed populations of birds (collared flycatcher and zebra finch) to estimate the amount of sex-linked genetic variance (h(2)z ). Of 17 traits examined, eight showed a nonzero h(2)Z estimate but only four were significantly different from zero (wing patch size and tarsus length in collared flycatchers, wing length and beak color in zebra finches). We further tested how sexual dimorphism and the mode of selection operating on the trait relate to the proportion of sex-linked genetic variance. Sexually selected traits did not show higher h(2)Z than morphological traits and there was only a weak positive relationship between h(2)Z and sexual dimorphism. However, given the relative scarcity of empirical studies, it is premature to make conclusions about the role of sex chromosome linkage in the evolution of sexual dimorphism. PMID:23461313

  15. Sexual selection and the evolution of visually conspicuous sexually dimorphic traits in male monkeys, apes, and human beings.

    PubMed

    Dixson, Alan; Dixson, Barnaby; Anderson, Matthew

    2005-01-01

    Striking secondary sexual traits, such as brightly colored "sexual skin," capes of hair, beards, and other facial adornments occur in adult males of many anthropoid primate species. This review focuses upon the role of sexual selection in the evolution of these traits. A quantitative approach is used to measure sexually dimorphic characters and to compare their development in the monogamous, polygynous, and multimale-multifemale mating systems of monkeys, apes, and human beings. PMID:16913285

  16. Genetic architecture of sexual dimorphism in a subdioecious plant with a proto-sex chromosome

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Sexual dimorphism is thought to arise once sexually antagonistic genes accumulate on sex chromosomes early in their evolution. Yet because the earliest stages of sex chromosome evolution are elusive, we lack empirical evidence supporting this theory. In this study, we shed first light on the genetic...

  17. Effect of the MC1R gene on sexual dimorphism in melanin-based colorations.

    PubMed

    San-Jose, Luis M; Ducrest, Anne-Lyse; Ducret, Valérie; Béziers, Paul; Simon, Céline; Wakamatsu, Kazumasa; Roulin, Alexandre

    2015-06-01

    Variants of the melanocortin-1 receptor (MC1R) gene result in abrupt, naturally selected colour morphs. These genetic variants may differentially affect sexual dimorphism if one morph is naturally selected in the two sexes but another morph is naturally or sexually selected only in one of the two sexes (e.g. to confer camouflage in reproductive females or confer mating advantage in males). Therefore, the balance between natural and sexual selections can differ between MC1R variants, as suggest studies showing interspecific correlations between sexual dimorphism and the rate of nonsynonymous vs. synonymous amino acid substitutions at the MC1R. Surprisingly, how MC1R is related to within-species sexual dimorphism, and thereby to sex-specific selection, has not yet been investigated. We tackled this issue in the barn owl (Tyto alba), a species showing pronounced variation in the degree of reddish pheomelanin-based coloration and in the number and size of black feather spots. We found that a valine (V)-to-isoleucine (I) substitution at position 126 explains up to 30% of the variation in the three melanin-based colour traits and in feather melanin content. Interestingly, MC1R genotypes also differed in the degree of sexual colour dimorphism, with individuals homozygous for the II MC1R variant being 2 times redder and 2.5 times less sexually dimorphic than homozygous individuals for the VV MC1R variant. These findings support that MC1R interacts with the expression of sexual dimorphism and suggest that a gene with major phenotypic effects and weakly influenced by variation in body condition can participate in sex-specific selection processes. PMID:25857339

  18. Genetic architecture of sexual dimorphism in a subdioecious plant with a proto-sex chromosome.

    PubMed

    Spigler, Rachel B; Lewers, Kim S; Ashman, Tia-Lynn

    2011-04-01

    The rise of sexual dimorphism is thought to coincide with the evolution of sex chromosomes. Yet because sex chromosomes in many species are ancient, we lack empirical evidence of the earliest stages of this transition. We use QTL analysis to examine the genetic architecture of sexual dimorphism in subdioecious octoploid Fragaria virginiana. We demonstrate that the region housing the male-function locus controls the majority of quantitative variation in proportion fruit set, confirming the existence of a proto-sex chromosome, and houses major QTL for eight additional sexually dimorphic traits, consistent with theory and data from animals and plants with more advanced sex chromosomes. We also detected autosomal QTL, demonstrating contributions to phenotypic variation in sexually dimorphic traits outside the sex-determining region. Moreover, for proportion seed set we found significant epistatic interactions between autosomal QTL and the male-function locus, indicating sex-limited QTL. We identified linked QTL reflecting trade-offs between male and female traits expected from theory and positive integration of male traits. These findings indicate the potential for the evolution of greater sexual dimorphism. Involvement of linkage groups homeologous to the proto-sex chromosome in these correlations reflects the polyploid origin of F. virginiana and raises the possibility that chromosomes in this homeologous group were predisposed to become the sex chromosome. PMID:21062281

  19. Interactive effects of competition and social environment on the expression of sexual dimorphism.

    PubMed

    De Lisle, S P; Rowe, L

    2014-06-01

    The expression of sexual dimorphism is expected to be influenced by the acquisition of resources available to allocate to trait growth, combined with sex-specific patterns of resource allocation. Resource acquisition in the wild may be mediated by a variety of ecological factors, such as the density of interspecific competitors. Allocation may in turn depend on social contexts, such as sex ratio, that alter the pay-off for investment in sexual traits. How these factors interact to promote or constrain the expression and evolution of sexual dimorphism is poorly understood. We manipulated sex ratio and interspecific resource competition over the growing season of red-spotted newts (Notophthalmus viridescens) in artificial ponds. Fish competitors had a stronger effect on female than male growth, which effectively eliminated the expression of sexual size dimorphism. In addition, newt sex ratio influenced fish growth, leading to reduction in fish mass with an increase in female newt frequency. Fish also reduced the expression of male tail height, a sexually selected trait, but only in tanks with a female-biased sex ratio. This suggests males alter their resource allocation pattern in response to the strength of sexual selection. Our results demonstrate that ecologically and socially mediated interactions between sex-specific resource acquisition and allocation can contribute to variation in the expression of sexual dimorphism. PMID:24819816

  20. The role of sexual selection and conflict in mediating among-population variation in mating strategies and sexually dimorphic traits in Sepsis punctum.

    PubMed

    Dmitriew, Caitlin; Blanckenhorn, Wolf U

    2012-01-01

    The black scavenger fly Sepsis punctum exhibits striking among-population variation in the direction and magnitude of sexual size dimorphism, modification to the male forelimb and pre-copulatory behaviour. In some populations, male-biased sexual size dimorphism is observed; in other, less dimorphic, populations males court prior to mating. Such variation in reproductive traits is of interest to evolutionary biologists because it has the potential to limit gene flow among populations, contributing to speciation. Here, we investigate whether large male body size and modified forefemur are associated with higher male mating success within populations, whether these traits are associated with higher mating success among populations, and if these traits carry viability costs that could constrain their response to sexual selection. Flies from five distinct populations were reared at high or low food, generating high and low quality males. The expression of body size, forelimb morphology and courtship rate were each greater at high food, but high food males experienced higher mating success or reduced latency to first copulation in only one of the populations. Among populations, overall mating success increased with the degree of male-bias in overall body size and forelimb modification, suggesting that these traits have evolved as a means of increasing male mating rate. The increased mating success observed in large-male populations raises the question of why variation in magnitude of dimorphism persists among populations. One reason may be that costs of producing a large size constrain the evolution of ever-larger males. We found no evidence that juvenile mortality under food stress was greater for large-male populations, but development time was considerably longer and may represent an important constraint in an ephemeral and competitive growth environment. PMID:23227145

  1. Specialization for aggression in sexually dimorphic skeletal morphology in grey wolves (Canis lupus)

    PubMed Central

    Morris, Jeremy S; Brandt, Ellissa K

    2014-01-01

    Aggressive behaviour is important in the life history of many animals. In grey wolves (Canis lupus), territory defence through direct competition with conspecifics is severe and often lethal. Thus, performance in aggressive encounters may be under strong selection. Additionally, grey wolves frequently kill large dangerous prey species. Because both sexes actively participate in aggressive activities and prey capture, wolves are expected to exhibit a low level of musculoskeletal sexual dimorphism. However, male wolves more often lead in agonistic encounters with conspecifics and must provision the nursing female during the pup-rearing period of the breeding season. These behaviours may select for males that exhibit a higher degree of morphological adaptation associated with aggression and prey capture performance. To test this prediction, we assessed skeletal sexual dimorphism in three subspecies of grey wolves using functional indices reflecting morphological specialization for aggression. As expected, sexual dimorphism in skeletal shape was limited. However, in two of three subspecies, we found sexually dimorphic traits in the skull, forelimbs and hindlimbs that are consistent with the hypothesis that males are more specialized for aggression. These characters may also be associated with selection for improved prey capture performance by males. Thus, the sexually dimorphic functional traits identified by our analysis may be adaptive in the contexts of both natural and sexual selection. Several of these traits may conflict with locomotor economy, indicating the importance of aggression in the life history of male grey wolves. The presence of functional specialization for aggression in a generally monogamous species indicates that sexual dimorphism in specific musculoskeletal traits may be widespread among mammals. PMID:24810384

  2. Specialization for aggression in sexually dimorphic skeletal morphology in grey wolves (Canis lupus).

    PubMed

    Morris, Jeremy S; Brandt, Ellissa K

    2014-07-01

    Aggressive behaviour is important in the life history of many animals. In grey wolves (Canis lupus), territory defence through direct competition with conspecifics is severe and often lethal. Thus, performance in aggressive encounters may be under strong selection. Additionally, grey wolves frequently kill large dangerous prey species. Because both sexes actively participate in aggressive activities and prey capture, wolves are expected to exhibit a low level of musculoskeletal sexual dimorphism. However, male wolves more often lead in agonistic encounters with conspecifics and must provision the nursing female during the pup-rearing period of the breeding season. These behaviours may select for males that exhibit a higher degree of morphological adaptation associated with aggression and prey capture performance. To test this prediction, we assessed skeletal sexual dimorphism in three subspecies of grey wolves using functional indices reflecting morphological specialization for aggression. As expected, sexual dimorphism in skeletal shape was limited. However, in two of three subspecies, we found sexually dimorphic traits in the skull, forelimbs and hindlimbs that are consistent with the hypothesis that males are more specialized for aggression. These characters may also be associated with selection for improved prey capture performance by males. Thus, the sexually dimorphic functional traits identified by our analysis may be adaptive in the contexts of both natural and sexual selection. Several of these traits may conflict with locomotor economy, indicating the importance of aggression in the life history of male grey wolves. The presence of functional specialization for aggression in a generally monogamous species indicates that sexual dimorphism in specific musculoskeletal traits may be widespread among mammals. PMID:24810384

  3. Changes in the sexual dimorphism of the human mandible during the last 1200 years in Central Europe.

    PubMed

    Bejdová, Sárka; Krajíček, Václav; Velemínská, Jana; Horák, Martin; Velemínský, Petr

    2013-12-01

    According to many investigations, changes in mandibular morphology can occur synchronously with changes in the environment, and sexual dimorphism of the mandible can be influenced by the environment. Sexual dimorphism during the last 1200 years was evaluated using geometric morphometric analysis of virtual cranial models. The method of geometric morphometrics allows differences in size and shape to be assessed separately. We analyzed groups of adult individuals dating to Early Middle Ages, High Middle Ages, Early Modern Ages and from a modern Czech population (21st century). Significant sexual dimorphism in mandibular size was found in all populations. A trend in the sexual dimorphism of size was seen, with differences between the sexes increasing gradually over time. Size changes in female mandibles were a better reflection of environmental conditions and climate than size changes in male mandibles. Regarding changes in the sexual dimorphism of shape, significant dimorphism was found in all four samples. However, the pattern of mandibular shape dimorphism was different and varied considerably between samples. There was only one stable shape trait showing sexual dimorphism across all four samples in our study: the gonion lies more laterally in male than in female mandibles and male mandibles are relatively wider than female mandibles. Sexual dimorphism of shape is not influenced by the climate; instead sexual selection might play a role. This research supports earlier studies that have found that the degree and pattern of sexual dimorphism is population-specific and the factors regulating sexual dimorphism today may not be the same as those in the past. PMID:24004582

  4. Different on the inside: extreme swimbladder sexual dimorphism in the South Asian torrent minnows

    PubMed Central

    Conway, Kevin W.; Britz, Ralf; Siegel, Dustin S.

    2014-01-01

    The swimbladder plays an important role in buoyancy regulation but is typically reduced or even absent in benthic freshwater fishes that inhabit fast flowing water. Here, we document, for the first time, a remarkable example of swimbladder sexual dimorphism in the highly rheophilic South Asian torrent minnows (Psilorhynchus). The male swimbladder is not only much larger than that of the female (up to five times the diameter and up to 98 times the volume in some cases), but is also structurally more complex, with multiple internal septa dividing it into smaller chambers. Males also exhibit a strange organ of unknown function or homology in association with the swimbladder that is absent in females. Extreme sexual dimorphism of non-gonadal internal organs is rare among vertebrates and the swimbladder sexual dimorphisms that we describe for Psilorhynchus are unique among fishes. PMID:25009242

  5. Deep sexual dimorphism in adult medaka fish liver highlighted by multi-omic approach

    PubMed Central

    Qiao, Qin; Le Manach, Séverine; Sotton, Benoit; Huet, Hélène; Duvernois-Berthet, Evelyne; Paris, Alain; Duval, Charlotte; Ponger, Loïc; Marie, Arul; Blond, Alain; Mathéron, Lucrèce; Vinh, Joelle; Bolbach, Gérard; Djediat, Chakib; Bernard, Cécile; Edery, Marc; Marie, Benjamin

    2016-01-01

    Sexual dimorphism describes the features that discriminate between the two sexes at various biological levels. Especially, during the reproductive phase, the liver is one of the most sexually dimorphic organs, because of different metabolic demands between the two sexes. The liver is a key organ that plays fundamental roles in various physiological processes, including digestion, energetic metabolism, xenobiotic detoxification, biosynthesis of serum proteins, and also in endocrine or immune response. The sex-dimorphism of the liver is particularly obvious in oviparous animals, as the female liver is the main organ for the synthesis of oocyte constituents. In this work, we are interested in identifying molecular sexual dimorphism in the liver of adult medaka fish and their sex-variation in response to hepatotoxic exposures. By developing an integrative approach combining histology and different high-throughput omic investigations (metabolomics, proteomics and transcriptomics), we were able to globally depict the strong sexual dimorphism that concerns various cellular and molecular processes of hepatocytes comprising protein synthesis, amino acid, lipid and polysaccharide metabolism, along with steroidogenesis and detoxification. The results of this work imply noticeable repercussions on the biology of oviparous organisms environmentally exposed to chemical or toxin issues. PMID:27561897

  6. Deep sexual dimorphism in adult medaka fish liver highlighted by multi-omic approach.

    PubMed

    Qiao, Qin; Le Manach, Séverine; Sotton, Benoit; Huet, Hélène; Duvernois-Berthet, Evelyne; Paris, Alain; Duval, Charlotte; Ponger, Loïc; Marie, Arul; Blond, Alain; Mathéron, Lucrèce; Vinh, Joelle; Bolbach, Gérard; Djediat, Chakib; Bernard, Cécile; Edery, Marc; Marie, Benjamin

    2016-01-01

    Sexual dimorphism describes the features that discriminate between the two sexes at various biological levels. Especially, during the reproductive phase, the liver is one of the most sexually dimorphic organs, because of different metabolic demands between the two sexes. The liver is a key organ that plays fundamental roles in various physiological processes, including digestion, energetic metabolism, xenobiotic detoxification, biosynthesis of serum proteins, and also in endocrine or immune response. The sex-dimorphism of the liver is particularly obvious in oviparous animals, as the female liver is the main organ for the synthesis of oocyte constituents. In this work, we are interested in identifying molecular sexual dimorphism in the liver of adult medaka fish and their sex-variation in response to hepatotoxic exposures. By developing an integrative approach combining histology and different high-throughput omic investigations (metabolomics, proteomics and transcriptomics), we were able to globally depict the strong sexual dimorphism that concerns various cellular and molecular processes of hepatocytes comprising protein synthesis, amino acid, lipid and polysaccharide metabolism, along with steroidogenesis and detoxification. The results of this work imply noticeable repercussions on the biology of oviparous organisms environmentally exposed to chemical or toxin issues. PMID:27561897

  7. Sexual dimorphism and directional sexual selection on aposematic signals in a poison frog

    PubMed Central

    Maan, Martine E.; Cummings, Molly E.

    2009-01-01

    It is commonly assumed that natural selection imposed by predators is the prevailing force driving the evolution of aposematic traits. Here, we demonstrate that aposematic signals are shaped by sexual selection as well. We evaluated sexual selection for coloration brightness in populations of the poison frog Oophaga [Dendrobates] pumilio in Panama's Bocas del Toro archipelago. We assessed female preferences for brighter males by manipulating the perceived brightness of spectrally matched males in two-way choice experiments. We found strong female preferences for bright males in two island populations and weaker or ambiguous preferences in females from mainland populations. Spectral reflectance measurements, coupled with an O. pumilio-specific visual processing model, showed that O. pumilio coloration was significantly brighter in island than in mainland morphs. In one of the island populations (Isla Solarte), males were significantly more brightly colored than females. Taken together, these results provide evidence for directional sexual selection on aposematic coloration and document sexual dimorphism in vertebrate warning coloration. Although aposematic signals have long been upheld as exemplars of natural selection, our results show that sexual selection should not be ignored in studies of aposematic evolution. PMID:19858491

  8. Sexual dimorphism of the Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra) in South Korea: Craniodental geometric morphometry

    PubMed Central

    LAU, Alice Ching Ching; ASAHARA, Masakazu; HAN, Sung Yong; KIMURA, Junpei

    2016-01-01

    Sexual dimorphism of the craniodental morphology of the Eurasian otter in South Korea was studied with geometric morphometrics. 29 adult skulls (15 males and 14 females) were used. Images of the dorsal and ventral view of the cranium and right lateral view of the mandible were taken and then digitized, and measurements were taken on the right side. Results showed that size difference between males and females was significant. Correlations between the size and shape variations have not been observed in this study. The bivariate plots with centroid size showed size dimorphism between males and females with some overlapping. Most relative warp (RW) scores were not significantly different between males and females. We observed only RW2 for dorsal and ventral view of the skull, and only RW1 for mandible was significantly different between the sexes. Shape dimorphisms were revealed at the postorbital constriction, temporal-mandibular joint, coronoid process, mandibular condyle and angular process of the skull. Based on our study, sexual dimorphism exists in Eurasian otter from the South Korean population in terms of both the size and shape. Furthermore, the degree of size dimorphism is greater than shape dimorphism. PMID:26983684

  9. Sexually dimorphic behavioral responses to prenatal dioxin exposure.

    PubMed Central

    Hojo, Rieko; Stern, Sander; Zareba, Grazyna; Markowski, Vincent P; Cox, Christopher; Kost, James T; Weiss, Bernard

    2002-01-01

    Pregnant Sprague-Dawley rats received a single oral dose of 0, 20, 60, or 180 ng/kg 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin on day 8 of gestation. Each litter contributed a single male-female pair trained to press a lever to obtain food pellets under two operant behavior procedures. Initially, each lever press was reinforced. The fixed-ratio (FR) requirement was then increased every four sessions from the initial setting of 1 to values between 6 and 71. We then studied responses for 30 days under a multiple schedule combining FR 11 and another schedule requiring a pause of at least 10 sec between responses (DRL 10-sec). TCDD evoked a sexually dimorphic response pattern. Generally, TCDD-exposed males responded at lower rates than control males. In contrast, exposed females responded at higher rates than controls. Each response measure from the mult-FR DRL schedule yielded a male-female difference score. We used the differences in response rate to calculate benchmark doses based on the relative displacement from modeled zero-dose performance of the effective dose at 1% (ED(01)) and 10% (ED(10)), as determined by a second-order polynomial fit to the dose-effect function. For the male-female difference in FR rate of responding, the mean ED(10) was 2.77 ng/kg with a 95% lower bound of 1.81 ng/kg. The corresponding ED(01) was 0.27 ng/kg with a 95% lower bound of 0.18 ng/kg. For the male-female difference in DRL rate, the mean ED(10) was 2.97 ng/kg with a 95% lower bound of 2.02 ng/kg. The corresponding ED(01) was 0.30 ng/kg with a 95% lower bound of 0.20 ng/kg. These values fall close to, but below, current estimates of human body burdens of 13 ng/kg, based on TCDD toxic equivalents. PMID:11882475

  10. Sexual size dimorphism is not associated with the evolution of parental care in frogs

    PubMed Central

    Monroe, Melanie J; Alonzo, Suzanne H

    2014-01-01

    Sex differences in parental care are thought to arise from differential selection on the sexes. Sexual dimorphism, including sexual size dimorphism (SSD), is often used as a proxy for sexual selection on males. Some studies have found an association between male-biased SSD (i.e., males larger than females) and the loss of paternal care. While the relationship between sexual selection on males and parental care evolution has been studied extensively, the relationship between female-biased SSD (i.e., females larger than males) and the evolution of parental care has received very little attention. Thus, we have little knowledge of whether female-biased SSD coevolves with parental care. In species displaying female-biased SSD, we might expect dimorphism to be associated with the evolution of paternal care or perhaps the loss of maternal care. Here, drawing on data for 99 extant frog species, we use comparative methods to evaluate how parental care and female-biased SSD have evolved over time. Generally, we find no significant correlation between the evolution of parental care and female-biased SSD in frogs. This suggests that differential selection on body size between the sexes is unlikely to have driven the evolution of parental care in these clades and questions whether we should expect sexual dimorphism to exhibit a general relationship with the evolution of sex differences in parental care. PMID:25505526

  11. Ecological Sexual Dimorphism and Environmental Variability within a Community of Antarctic Penguins (Genus Pygoscelis)

    PubMed Central

    Gorman, Kristen B.; Williams, Tony D.; Fraser, William R.

    2014-01-01

    Background Sexual segregation in vertebrate foraging niche is often associated with sexual size dimorphism (SSD), i.e., ecological sexual dimorphism. Although foraging behavior of male and female seabirds can vary markedly, differences in isotopic (carbon, δ13C and nitrogen, δ15N) foraging niche are generally more pronounced within sexually dimorphic species and during phases when competition for food is greater. We examined ecological sexual dimorphism among sympatric nesting Pygoscelis penguins asking whether environmental variability is associated with differences in male and female pre-breeding foraging niche. We predicted that all Pygoscelis species would forage sex-specifically, and that higher quality winter habitat, i.e., higher or lower sea ice coverage for a given species, would be associated with a more similar foraging niche among the sexes. Results P2/P8 primers reliably amplified DNA of all species. On average, male Pygoscelis penguins are structurally larger than female conspecifics. However, chinstrap penguins were more sexually dimorphic in culmen and flipper features than Adélie and gentoo penguins. Adélies and gentoos were more sexually dimorphic in body mass than chinstraps. Only male and female chinstraps and gentoos occupied separate δ15N foraging niches. Strong year effects in δ15N signatures were documented for all three species, however, only for Adélies, did yearly variation in δ15N signatures tightly correlate with winter sea ice conditions. There was no evidence that variation in sex-specific foraging niche interacted with yearly winter habitat quality. Conclusion Chinstraps were most sexually size dimorphic followed by gentoos and Adélies. Pre-breeding sex-specific foraging niche was associated with overall SSD indices across species; male chinstrap and gentoo penguins were enriched in δ15N relative to females. Our results highlight previously unknown trophic pathways that link Pygoscelis penguins with variation in Southern

  12. Natural allelic variations of xenobiotic-metabolizing enzymes affect sexual dimorphism in Oryzias latipes

    PubMed Central

    Katsumura, Takafumi; Oda, Shoji; Nakagome, Shigeki; Hanihara, Tsunehiko; Kataoka, Hiroshi; Mitani, Hiroshi; Kawamura, Shoji; Oota, Hiroki

    2014-01-01

    Sexual dimorphisms, which are phenotypic differences between males and females, are driven by sexual selection. Interestingly, sexually selected traits show geographical variations within species despite strong directional selective pressures. This paradox has eluded many evolutionary biologists for some time, and several models have been proposed (e.g. ‘indicator model’ and ‘trade-off model’). However, disentangling which of these theories explains empirical patterns remains difficult, because genetic polymorphisms that cause variation in sexual differences are still unknown. In this study, we show that polymorphisms in cytochrome P450 (CYP) 1B1, which encodes a xenobiotic-metabolizing enzyme, are associated with geographical differences in sexual dimorphism in the anal fin morphology of medaka fish (Oryzias latipes). Biochemical assays and genetic cross experiments show that high- and low-activity CYP1B1 alleles enhanced and declined sex differences in anal fin shapes, respectively. Behavioural and phylogenetic analyses suggest maintenance of the high-activity allele by sexual selection, whereas the low-activity allele possibly has experienced positive selection due to by-product effects of CYP1B1 in inferred ancestral populations. The present data can elucidate evolutionary mechanisms behind genetic variations in sexual dimorphism and indicate trade-off interactions between two distinct mechanisms acting on the two alleles with pleiotropic effects of xenobiotic-metabolizing enzymes. PMID:25377463

  13. Early embryonic determination of the sexual dimorphism in segment number in geophilomorph centipedes

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Most geophilomorph centipedes show intraspecific variability in the number of leg-bearing segments. This intraspecific variability generally has a component that is related to sex, with females having on average more segments than males. Neither the developmental basis nor the adaptive role of this dimorphism is known. Results To determine when this sexual dimorphism in segment number is established, we have followed the development of Strigamia maritima embryos from the onset of segmentation to the first post-embryonic stage where we could determine the sex morphologically. We find that males and females differ in segment number by Stage 6.1, a point during embryogenesis when segment addition pauses while the embryo undergoes large-scale movements. We have confirmed this pattern by establishing a molecular method to determine the sex of single embryos, utilising duplex PCR amplification for Y chromosomal and autosomal sequences. This confirms that male embryos have a modal number of 43 segments visible at Stage 6, while females have 45. In our Strigamia population, adult males have a modal number of 47 leg-bearing segments, and females have 49. This implies that the sexual dimorphism in segment number is determined before the addition of the last leg-bearing segments and the terminal genital segments. Conclusions Sexual dimorphism in segment number is not associated with terminal segment differentiation, but must instead be related to some earlier process during segment patterning. The dimorphism may be associated with a difference in the rate and/or duration of segment addition during the main phase of rapid segment addition that precedes embryonic Stage 6. This suggests that the adaptive role, if any, of the dimorphism is likely to be related to segment number per se, and not to sexual differentiation of the terminal region. PMID:23919293

  14. Comparison of sexual dimorphism of permanent mandibular canine with mandibular first molar by odontometrics

    PubMed Central

    Agrawal, Aditi; Manjunatha, Bhari Shranesha; Dholia, Bhavik; Althomali, Yousef

    2015-01-01

    Background and Objectives: Sexual dimorphism is one of important tool of forensic science. The objective of this study is to assess the dimorphic status of mesio-distal (MD) and bucco-lingual (BL) diameter of mandibular canine with mandibular first molar among the students of dental college. This study is of definite significance as sex chromosomes and hormonal production influenced tooth morphology. Materials and Methods: The descriptive study adopted the purposive sampling technique, of 50 male and 50 female aged 17-25 years, using study casts for mesio-distal and bucco-lingual dimensions of mandibular canine with mandibular first molar were taken using digital Vernier caliper. The data obtained were subjected to statistical analysis using descriptive statistics and t-test to compare MD and BL dimensions in male and female populations and P ≤ 0.05 was found statistically significant. Results: Sexual dimorphism can be predicted by measuring mesiodistal dimension of mandibular canine and mandibular first molar. The left mandibular canine showed more sexual dimorphism (12.66%) in comparison to left mandibular first molar (0.824%) only. Right mandibular canine showed greater dimorphism in MD dimensions (10.94%) in comparison to right mandibular first molar (6.96%). In bucco-lingual dimensions mandibular canine showed less variability when compared with mandibular first molar, thus our study showed more significance on mesio-distal dimensions of both teeth. Conclusion: The present study concludes statistically significant sexual dimorphism in mandibular canine over mandibular first molar on study casts. The MD dimensions in mandibular canine and mandibular first molar can help in determining sex and identification of unknown person. PMID:26816466

  15. The evolution of sexual dimorphism and its potential impact on host-pathogen coevolution.

    PubMed

    Gipson, Stephen A Y; Hall, Matthew D

    2016-05-01

    Sex and infection are intimately linked. Many diseases are spread by sexual contact, males are thought to evolve exaggerated sexual signals to demonstrate their immune robustness, and pathogens have been shown to direct the evolution of recombination. In all of these examples, infection is influencing the evolution of male and female fitness, but less is known about how sex differences influence pathogen fitness. A defining characteristic of sexual dimorphism is not only divergent phenotypes, but also a complex genetic architecture involving changes in genetic correlations among shared fitness traits, and differences in the accumulation of mutations-all of which may affect selection on an invading pathogen. Here, we outline the implications that the genetics of sexual dimorphism can have for host-pathogen coevolution and argue that male-female differences influence more than just the environment that a pathogen experiences. PMID:27076194

  16. Women's Performance on Sexually Dimorphic Tasks: The Effect of Hormonal Fluctuations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Duell, Lanora J.

    2011-01-01

    This study examined the effect of hormonal fluctuations on women's performance on sexually dimorphic cognitive tasks. Thirty-six participants were recruited through introduction to psychology courses at three colleges. Participants were assessed using the Woodcock-Johnson Test of Cognitive Ability III (WJ III COG), which is a commonly-used, widely…

  17. Chemical and Hormonal Effects on STAT5b-Dependent Sexual Dimorphism of the Liver Transcriptome.

    EPA Science Inventory

    The growth hormone (GH)-activated transcription factor signal transducer and activator of transcription 5b (STAT5b) is a key regulator of sexually dimorphic gene expression in the liver. Suppression of hepatic STAT5b signaling is associated with lipid metabolic dysfunction leadi...

  18. Sexual Dimorphisms in the Dermal Denticles of the Lesser-Spotted Catshark, Scyliorhinus canicula (Linnaeus, 1758)

    PubMed Central

    Crooks, Neil; Babey, Lucy; Haddon, William J.; Love, Adrian C.; Waring, Colin P.

    2013-01-01

    The dermal layers of several elasmobranch species have been shown to be sexually dimorphic. Generally, when this occurs the females have thicker dermal layers compared to those of males. This sexual dimorphism has been suggested to occur as a response to male biting during mating. Although male biting as a copulatory behaviour in Scyliorhinus canicula has been widely speculated to occur, only relatively recently has this behaviour been observed. Male S. canicula use their mouths to bite the female’s pectoral and caudal fins as part of their pre-copulatory behaviour and to grasp females during copulation. Previous work has shown that female S. canicula have a thicker epidermis compared to that of males. The structure of the dermal denticles in females may also differ from that of males in order to protect against male biting or to provide a greater degree of friction in order to allow the male more purchase. This study reveals that the length, width and density of the dermal denticles of mature male and female S. canicula are sexually dimorphic across the integument in areas where males have been observed to bite and wrap themselves around females (pectoral fin, area posterior to the pectoral fin, caudal fin, and pelvic girdle). No significant differences in the dermal denticle dimensions were found in other body areas examined (head, dorsal skin and caudal peduncle). Sexually dimorphic dermal denticles in mature S. canicula could be a response to male biting/wrapping as part of the copulatory process. PMID:24116179

  19. The Sexual Dimorphic Association of Cardiorespiratory Fitness to Working Memory in Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Drollette, Eric S.; Scudder, Mark R.; Raine, Lauren B.; Davis Moore, R.; Pontifex, Matthew B.; Erickson, Kirk I.; Hillman, Charles H.

    2016-01-01

    The present investigation examined the sexual dimorphic patterns of cardiorespiratory fitness to working memory in preadolescent children (age range: 7.7-10.9). Data were collected in three separate studies (Study 1: n = 97, 42 females; Study 2: n = 95, 45 females; Study 3: n = 84, 37 females). All participants completed a cardiorespiratory…

  20. SEXUAL DIMORPHISM OF BASITARSI IN DIABROTICA AND CEROTOMA SPP. (COLEOPTERA: CHRYSOMELIDAE)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Sexual dimorphism in basitarsal pad morphology is described for prothoracic and mesothoracic legs of Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte, Diabrotica barberi Smith and Lawrence, and Diabrotica undecimpunctata howardi Barber and for prothoracic legs of Cerotoma trifucata (Forster). On the indicate...

  1. Femur bone strength in Tyrannosaurus rex: A study of sexual dimorphism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Scott

    2012-04-01

    Tyrannosaurus rex is the iconic species of a fearsome predator and is held in fascination by virtually everyone. Like many other species, Tyrannosaurs rex displayed sexual dimorphism with the females larger than the males. The femur bones of 14 fossil specimens were examined to determine if the maximum running abilities were significantly different for the two genders. No significant difference is observed.

  2. Sexual size dimorphism in caecilian amphibians: analysis, review and directions for future research.

    PubMed

    Kupfer, Alexander

    2009-01-01

    Sexual dimorphism, widespread in the animal kingdom, describes differences between the sexes in size, shape and many other traits. Sexual size dimorphism (SSD) plays a significant role in understanding life history evolution and mating systems. The snakelike morphology of limbless caecilian amphibians lacking obvious secondary sexual characters (in contrast to frogs and salamanders) impedes accurate intrasexual comparisons. In this study, sexual size dimorphism in the oviparous caecilian Ichthyophis cf. kohtaoensis, a phylogenetically basal caecilian, was analysed. Females were larger in all body and head characters tested. However, when adjusted to body size (total length), females differed only in their cloacal shape. Clutch volume was positively correlated to female body size, thus female fecundity increased with body size supporting the hypothesis of a fecundity-selected SSD in the oviparous Ichthyophis cf. kohtaoensis. A review of the present SSD data for caecilians shows that many species are monomorphic for body size but show dimorphism in head size, while other species demonstrate female-biased SSD. Male-biased SSD has not been reported for caecilians. To understand life history evolution in caecilians, further studies on the reproductive biology of other taxa are urgently needed, in particular for rhinatrematids and uraeotyphlids. New data will allow phylogenetically controlled comparative analyses to fully explore the pattern of SSD among caecilian lineages. PMID:19433349

  3. Sexual Dimorphism in the Brain of the Monogamous California Mouse (Peromyscus californicus).

    PubMed

    Campi, Katharine L; Jameson, Chelsea E; Trainor, Brian C

    2013-01-01

    Sex differences in behavior and morphology are usually assumed to be stronger in polygynous species compared to monogamous species. A few brain structures have been identified as sexually dimorphic in polygynous rodent species, but it is less clear whether these differences persist in monogamous species. California mice are among the 5% or less of mammals that are considered to be monogamous and as such provide an ideal model to examine sexual dimorphism in neuroanatomy. In the present study we compared the volume of hypothalamic- and limbic-associated regions in female and male California mice for sexual dimorphism. We also used tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) immunohistochemistry to compare the number of dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) in female and male California mice. Additionally, tract tracing was used to accurately delineate the boundaries of the VTA. The total volume of the sexually dimorphic nucleus of the preoptic area (SDN-POA), the principal nucleus of the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST), and the posterodorsal medial amygdala (MEA) was larger in males compared to females. In the SDN-POA we found that the magnitude of sex differences in the California mouse were intermediate between the large differences observed in promiscuous meadow voles and rats and the absence of significant differences in monogamous prairie voles. However, the magnitude of sex differences in MEA and the BNST were comparable to polygynous species. No sex differences were observed in the volume of the whole brain, the VTA, the nucleus accumbens or the number of TH-ir neurons in the VTA. These data show that despite a monogamous social organization, sexual dimorphisms that have been reported in polygynous rodents extend to California mice. Our data suggest that sex differences in brain structures such as the SDN-POA persist across species with different social organizations and may be an evolutionarily conserved characteristic of mammalian brains. PMID

  4. First descriptions of copepodid stages, sexual dimorphism and intraspecific variability of Mesocletodes Sars, 1909 (Copepoda, Harpacticoida, Argestidae), including the description of a new species with broad abyssal distribution

    PubMed Central

    Menzel, Lena

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Mesocletodes Sars, 1909a encompasses 37 species to date. Initial evidence on intraspecific variability and sexual dimorphism has been verified for 77 specimens of Mesocletodes elmari sp. n. from various deep-sea regions, and ontogenetic development has been traced for the first time. Apomorphies are a strong spinule-like pinna on the mx seta that is fused to the basis, P2–P4 exp3 proximal outer seta lost, P1–P4 enp2 extremely elongated, furcal rami elongated, female body of prickly appearance, female P2–P4 enp2 proximal inner seta lost. Intraspecific variability involves spinulation, ornamentation and size of the body and setation and spinulation of pereiopods. Sexually dimorphic modifications of adult females include prickly appearance of the body, P1 enp exceeds exp in length, P1 coxa externally broadened, seta of basis arising from prominent protrusion, hyaline frills of body somites ornate. Sexual dimorphism in adult males is expressed in smaller body size, haplocer A1, 2 inner setae on P2–P4 enp2 and on P5 exp, P5 basendopodal lobe with 2 setae. Some modifications allow sexing of copepodid stages. The female A1 is fully developed in CV, the male A1 undergoes extensive modifications at the last molt. P1–P4 are fully developed in CV. Mesocletodes faroerensis and Mesocletodes thielei lack apomorphies of Mesocletodes and are excluded. PMID:21594073

  5. Evolution of sexual dimorphism in bill size and shape of hermit hummingbirds (Phaethornithinae): a role for ecological causation

    PubMed Central

    Temeles, Ethan J.; Miller, Jill S.; Rifkin, Joanna L.

    2010-01-01

    Unambiguous examples of ecological causation of sexual dimorphism are rare, and the best evidence involves sexual differences in trophic morphology. We show that moderate female-biased sexual dimorphism in bill curvature is the ancestral condition in hermit hummingbirds (Phaethornithinae), and that it is greatly amplified in species such as Glaucis hirsutus and Phaethornis guy, where bills of females are 60 per cent more curved than bills of males. In contrast, bill curvature dimorphism is lost or reduced in a lineage of short-billed hermit species and in specialist Eutoxeres sicklebill hermits. In the hermits, males tend to be larger than females in the majority of species, although size dimorphism is typically small. Consistent with earlier studies of hummingbird feeding performance, both raw regressions of traits and phylogenetic independent contrasts supported the prediction that dimorphism in bill curvature of hermits is associated with longer bills. Some evidence indicates that differences between sexes of hermit hummingbirds are associated with differences in the use of food plants. We suggest that some hermit hummingbirds provide model organisms for studies of ecological causation of sexual dimorphism because their sexual dimorphism in bill curvature provides a diagnostic clue for the food plants that need to be monitored for studies of sexual differences in resource use. PMID:20194168

  6. Sexual dimorphism in the size and shape of the os coxae and the effects of microevolutionary processes.

    PubMed

    Betti, Lia

    2014-02-01

    Sexual dimorphism in the human pelvis has been studied widely for forensic purposes, but it is still unclear to what extent it varies among human populations. There is evidence that microevolutionary processes, both neutral (i.e., population history) and selective (e.g., thermoregulatory adaptation and size-related obstetrical constraints) contribute to explain pelvic variation among populations, but the extent to which these factors affect pelvic sexual dimorphism is unknown. In this study, I analyze sexual dimorphism of the os coxae in 20 globally distributed human populations, using 3D morphometric data to separate the size and shape components of sexual differences. After evaluating population differences in the degree and pattern of sexual dimorphism, I test for the effect of population history, climate, and body size in shaping global diversity. The results show that size and shape dimorphism follow different patterns. Coxal size dimorphism is generally quite consistent through populations, with males bigger than females, but it appears to be reduced in small-bodied populations, possibly in relation to obstetrically-related selective pressures for a spacious birth canal. Beyond a general species-wide pattern of shape dimorphism, commonly used for forensic sex determination, other aspects of sexual differences in coxal shape vary among human populations, reflecting the effects of neutral demographic processes and climatic adaptation. PMID:24222471

  7. Quantitative genetics of ontogeny of sexual dimorphism in red junglefowl (Gallus gallus).

    PubMed

    Parker, T H; Garant, D

    2005-11-01

    We studied phenotypic patterns and underlying quantitative genetics of development of sexual size dimorphism in red junglefowl (Gallus gallus). Using a multigenerational pedigree and the 'animal model' technique, we found significant heritability for many of the size and growth-related traits we examined, as well as significant genetic correlations among them. Despite sexual size dimorphism throughout posthatching ontogeny, the genetic correlation between males and females for all size measurements and growth parameters remained high. Significant positive phenotypic and genetic correlations between the fastest rate of growth and mass at week 26 (near asymptote) indicate that faster growth when young promotes larger adult size. However, age at which peak growth is reached does not appear to be phenotypically or genetically correlated with adult size. Positive genetic correlations within traits among ages were common, demonstrating that the genetic variance important to growth is relatively consistent among ages. However, male mass and tarsus length showed no genetic correlation between week 0 values and those from later ages. The body size traits of mass and tarsus length were genetically correlated with each other in females, but this pattern was not significant in males. Thus, despite striking sexual dimorphism in size and growth trajectories, size dimorphic traits in junglefowl show, with some exceptions, genetic integration between the sexes, among ages, and between traits. PMID:16118659

  8. The energy costs of sexual dimorphism in mole-rats are morphological not behavioural

    PubMed Central

    Scantlebury, M; Speakman, J.R; Bennett, N.C

    2005-01-01

    Different reproductive strategies of males and females may lead to the evolution of differences in their energetic costs of reproduction, overall energetic requirements and physiological performances. Sexual dimorphism is often associated with costly behaviours (e.g. large males might have a competitive advantage in fighting, which is energetically expensive). However, few studies of mammals have directly compared the energy costs of reproductive activities between sexes. We compared the daily energy expenditure (DEE) and resting metabolic rate (RMR) of males and females of two species of mole-rat, Bathyergus janetta and Georychus capensis (the former is sexually dimorphic in body size and the latter is not) during a period of intense digging when males seek females. We hypothesized that large body size might be indicative of greater digging or fighting capabilities, and hence greater mass-independent DEE values in males of the sexually dimorphic species. In contrast to this prediction, although absolute values of DEE were greater in B. janetta males, mass-independent values were not. No differences were apparent between sexes in G. capensis. By comparison, although RMR values were greater in B. janetta than G. capensis, no differences were apparent between the sexes for either species. The energy cost of dimorphism is most likely to be the cost of maintenance of a large body size, and not the cost of behaviours performed when an individual is large. PMID:16519235

  9. Interspecific relationships and the evolution of sexual dimorphism in pygmy sunfishes (Centrarchidae: Elassoma).

    PubMed

    Sandel, Michael; Rohde, Fritz C; Harris, Phillip M

    2014-08-01

    The genus Elassoma represents a small but unique component of the aquatic biodiversity hotspot in southeastern North America. We present the first phylogeny of the seven described species, corroborated by sequence data from mitochondrial and nuclear protein coding genes. This analysis reveals a Coastal Plain clade sister to the geographically isolated, and federally protected, Elassoma alabamae. The Coastal Plain clade contains the widespread E. zonatum, which is sister to a clade primarily restricted to lowland Neogene subprovinces. We analyzed morphometric data in a phylogenetic context to illustrate the evolution of sexual shape dimorphism within the genus. Sixteen univariate and three multivariate traits were tested for significant sexual dimorphism for each species, and relative transformation rates were inferred from the time tree. A simple index of interspecific sexual dimorphism revealed greater disparity among sympatric species comparisons than among allopatric comparisons. Results implicate geology as a primary factor influencing ecological diversification, and sexual selection as a mechanism reinforcing reproductive isolation in areas of secondary contact. We discuss putative roles of geological history and sexual selection in the generation and maintenance of the aquatic biodiversity gradient in southeastern North America. PMID:24780749

  10. Costal process of the first sacral vertebra: sexual dimorphism and obstetrical adaptation.

    PubMed

    Tague, Robert G

    2007-03-01

    The human sacrum is sexually dimorphic, with males being larger than females in most dimensions. Previous studies, though, suggest that females may have a longer costal process of the first sacral vertebra (S1) than males. However, these studies neither quantified nor tested statistically the costal process of S1. This study compares S1 with the five lumbar vertebrae (L1 to L5) for a number of metric dimensions, including costal process length. Four issues are addressed, the: 1) hypothesis that females have a longer costal process of S1 than males; 2)hypothesis that homologous structures (i.e., costal processes of L1 to S1) differ in their direction of sexual dimorphism; 3) importance of the costal process of S1 to the obstetrical capacity of the pelvis; and 4) evolution of sexual dimorphism in costal process length of S1. One hundred ninety-seven individuals, including males and females of American blacks and whites, from the Hamann-Todd and Terry Collections were studied. Results show that males are significantly larger than females for most vertebral measurements, except that females have a significantly longer costal process of S1 than males. Costal process length of S1 is positively correlated with the transverse diameter and circumference of the pelvic inlet. The magnitude of sexual dimorphism in costal process length of S1 ranks this measure among the most highly dimorphic of the pelvis. Compared with the humans in this study, australopithecines have a relatively long costal process of S1, but their broad sacrum was not associated with obstetrical imperatives. PMID:17266155

  11. Development of sexually dimorphic vasotocinergic system in the bed nucleus of stria terminalis in chickens.

    PubMed

    Jurkevich, A; Barth, S W; Kuenzel, W J; Köhler, A; Grossmann, R

    1999-05-24

    The bed nucleus of stria terminalis (BnST) of the domestic fowl contains two groups of parvicellular vasotocinergic neurons that are sexually dimorphic. In adult cockerels, arginine vasotocin (AVT) synthesis is well expressed in the dorsolateral and ventromedial portions of the BnST, whereas in corresponding brain areas of hens, AVT synthesis is completely lacking. In the present study, in situ hybridization and immunocytochemical methods were used to compare the ontogeny of sexually dimorphic AVT gene expression in the BnST of male and female chickens from day 12 of embryonic development (E12) until the onset of sexual maturation. By E12, both parvicellular groups of AVT-immunoreactive (AVT-ir) perikarya in the developing BnST can be distinguished in some males, whereas in females their presence is questionable. A quantitative analysis, beginning at E14, showed that the parvicellular dorsolateral portion of the BnST of male embryos had more AVT perikarya compared with females. In contrast, no evident sex difference in distribution pattern and number of AVT mRNA containing neurons in this BnST portion was observable by in situ hybridization at E15. At E18, as well as on the first and second days posthatch (D1 and D2), no differences in the number of AVT synthesizing cells and intensity of immunoreactive staining in male versus female chickens were found. Between D2 and D7, the number of AVT-ir cells in the BnST declined rapidly in both sexes until it disappeared completely in females before D35. In males, another increase in sexually dimorphic AVT-ir cells and innervation of the lateral septum was associated with the onset of puberty and fully matched a pattern observed in adult fowls. These results demonstrate that the sexually dimorphic part of the AVT system undergoes sexual differentiation during early stages of ontogeny. PMID:10331579

  12. Sexual Dimorphism and Population Differences in Structural Properties of Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) Wing and Tail Feathers

    PubMed Central

    Pap, Péter L.; Osváth, Gergely; Aparicio, José Miguel; Bărbos, Lőrinc; Matyjasiak, Piotr; Rubolini, Diego; Saino, Nicola; Vágási, Csongor I.; Vincze, Orsolya; Møller, Anders Pape

    2015-01-01

    Sexual selection and aerodynamic forces affecting structural properties of the flight feathers of birds are poorly understood. Here, we compared the structural features of the innermost primary wing feather (P1) and the sexually dimorphic outermost (Ta6) and monomorphic second outermost (Ta5) tail feathers of barn swallows (Hirundo rustica) from a Romanian population to investigate how sexual selection and resistance to aerodynamic forces affect structural differences among these feathers. Furthermore, we compared structural properties of Ta6 of barn swallows from six European populations. Finally, we determined the relationship between feather growth bars width (GBW) and the structural properties of tail feathers. The structure of P1 indicates strong resistance against aerodynamic forces, while the narrow rachis, low vane density and low bending stiffness of tail feathers suggest reduced resistance against airflow. The highly elongated Ta6 is characterized by structural modifications such as large rachis width and increased barbule density in relation to the less elongated Ta5, which can be explained by increased length and/or high aerodynamic forces acting at the leading tail edge. However, these changes in Ta6 structure do not allow for full compensation of elongation, as reflected by the reduced bending stiffness of Ta6. Ta6 elongation in males resulted in feathers with reduced resistance, as shown by the low barb density and reduced bending stiffness compared to females. The inconsistency in sexual dimorphism and in change in quality traits of Ta6 among six European populations shows that multiple factors may contribute to shaping population differences. In general, the difference in quality traits between tail feathers cannot be explained by the GBW of feathers. Our results show that the material and structural properties of wing and tail feathers of barn swallows change as a result of aerodynamic forces and sexual selection, although the result of these

  13. Sexual Dimorphism and Population Differences in Structural Properties of Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) Wing and Tail Feathers.

    PubMed

    Pap, Péter L; Osváth, Gergely; Aparicio, José Miguel; Bărbos, Lőrinc; Matyjasiak, Piotr; Rubolini, Diego; Saino, Nicola; Vágási, Csongor I; Vincze, Orsolya; Møller, Anders Pape

    2015-01-01

    Sexual selection and aerodynamic forces affecting structural properties of the flight feathers of birds are poorly understood. Here, we compared the structural features of the innermost primary wing feather (P1) and the sexually dimorphic outermost (Ta6) and monomorphic second outermost (Ta5) tail feathers of barn swallows (Hirundo rustica) from a Romanian population to investigate how sexual selection and resistance to aerodynamic forces affect structural differences among these feathers. Furthermore, we compared structural properties of Ta6 of barn swallows from six European populations. Finally, we determined the relationship between feather growth bars width (GBW) and the structural properties of tail feathers. The structure of P1 indicates strong resistance against aerodynamic forces, while the narrow rachis, low vane density and low bending stiffness of tail feathers suggest reduced resistance against airflow. The highly elongated Ta6 is characterized by structural modifications such as large rachis width and increased barbule density in relation to the less elongated Ta5, which can be explained by increased length and/or high aerodynamic forces acting at the leading tail edge. However, these changes in Ta6 structure do not allow for full compensation of elongation, as reflected by the reduced bending stiffness of Ta6. Ta6 elongation in males resulted in feathers with reduced resistance, as shown by the low barb density and reduced bending stiffness compared to females. The inconsistency in sexual dimorphism and in change in quality traits of Ta6 among six European populations shows that multiple factors may contribute to shaping population differences. In general, the difference in quality traits between tail feathers cannot be explained by the GBW of feathers. Our results show that the material and structural properties of wing and tail feathers of barn swallows change as a result of aerodynamic forces and sexual selection, although the result of these

  14. Sexual dimorphism in Australopithecus afarensis was similar to that of modern humans

    PubMed Central

    Reno, Philip L.; Meindl, Richard S.; McCollum, Melanie A.; Lovejoy, C. Owen

    2003-01-01

    The substantial fossil record for Australopithecus afarensis includes both an adult partial skeleton [Afar Locality (A.L.) 288-1, “Lucy”] and a large simultaneous death assemblage (A.L. 333). Here we optimize data derived from both to more accurately estimate skeletal size dimorphism. Postcranial ratios derived from A.L. 288-1 enable a significant increase in sample size compared with previous studies. Extensive simulations using modern humans, chimpanzees, and gorillas confirm that this technique is accurate and that skeletal size dimorphism in A. afarensis was most similar to that of contemporary Homo sapiens. These data eliminate some apparent discrepancies between the canine and skeletal size dimorphism in hominoids, imply that the species was not characterized by substantial sexual bimaturation, and greatly increase the probability that the reproductive strategy of A. afarensis was principally monogamy. PMID:12878734

  15. No Sexual Dimorphism Detected in Digit Ratios of the Fire Salamander (Salamandra salamandra).

    PubMed

    Balogová, Monika; Nelson, Emma; Uhrin, Marcel; Figurová, Mária; Ledecký, Valent; Zyśk, Bartłomiej

    2015-10-01

    It has been proposed that digit ratio may be used as a biomarker of early developmental effects. Specifically, the second-to-fourth digit ratio (2D:4D) has been linked to the effects of sex hormones and their receptor genes, but other digit ratios have also been investigated. Across taxa, patterns of sexual dimorphism in digit ratios are ambiguous and a scarcity of studies in basal tetrapods makes it difficult to understand how ratios have evolved. Here, we focus on examining sex differences in digit ratios (2D:3D, 2D:4D, and 3D:4D) in a common amphibian, the fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra). We used graphic software to measure soft tissue digit length and digit bone length from X-rays. We found a nonsignificant tendency in males to have a lower 2D:3D than females; however, no sexual differences were detected in the other ratios. We discuss our results in the context of other studies of digit ratios, and how sex determination systems, as well as other factors, might impact patterns of sexual dimorphism, particularly in reptiles and in amphibians. Our findings suggest that caution is needed when using digit ratios as a potential indicator of prenatal hormonal effects in amphibians and highlight the need for more comparative studies to elucidate the evolutionary and genetic mechanisms implicated in sexually dimorphic patterns across taxonomic groups. PMID:26199217

  16. Cell death is involved in sexual dimorphism during preimplantation development.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, C S; Saraiva, N Z; de Lima, M R; Oliveira, L Z; Serapião, R V; Garcia, J M; Borges, C A V; Camargo, L S A

    2016-02-01

    In bovine preimplantation development, female embryos progress at lower rates and originate smaller blastocysts than male counterparts. Although sex-specific gene expression patterns are reported, when and how sex dimorphism is established is not clear. Differences among female and male early development can be useful for human assisted reproductive medicine, when X-linked disorders risk is detected, and for genetic breeding programs, especially in dairy cattle, which requires female animals for milk production. The aim of this study was to characterize the development of female and male embryos, attempting to identify sex effects during preimplantation development and the role of cell death in this process. Using sex-sorted semen from three different bulls for fertilization, we compared kinetics of bovine sex-specific embryos in six time points, and cell death was assessed in viable embryos. For kinetics analysis, we detected an increased population of female embryos arrested at 48 and 120h.p.i., suggesting this time points as delicate stages of development for female embryos that should be considered for testing improvement strategies for assisted reproductive technologies. Assessing viable embryos quality, we found 144h.p.i. is the first time point when viable embryos are phenotypically distinct: cell number is decreased, and apoptosis and cell fragmentation are increased in female embryos at this stage. These new results lead us to propose that sex dimorphism in viable embryos is established during morula-blastocyst transition, and cell death is involved in this process. PMID:26752320

  17. Sex-linked inheritance, genetic correlations and sexual dimorphism in three melanin-based colour traits in the barn owl.

    PubMed

    Roulin, A; Jensen, H

    2015-03-01

    Theory states that genes on the sex chromosomes have stronger effects on sexual dimorphism than genes on the autosomes. Although empirical data are not necessarily consistent with this theory, this situation may prevail because the relative role of sex-linked and autosomally inherited genes on sexual dimorphism has rarely been evaluated. We estimated the quantitative genetics of three sexually dimorphic melanin-based traits in the barn owl (Tyto alba), in which females are on average darker reddish pheomelanic and display more and larger black eumelanic feather spots than males. The plumage traits with higher sex-linked inheritance showed lower heritability and genetic correlations, but contrary to prediction, these traits showed less pronounced sexual dimorphism. Strong offspring sexual dimorphism primarily resulted from daughters not expressing malelike melanin-based traits and from sons expressing femalelike traits to similar degrees as their sisters. We conclude that in the barn owl, polymorphism at autosomal genes rather than at sex-linked genes generate variation in sexual dimorphism in melanin-based traits. PMID:25656218

  18. Evaluating sexual dimorphism in the human mastoid process: A viewpoint on the methodology.

    PubMed

    Petaros, Anja; Sholts, Sabrina B; Slaus, Mario; Bosnar, Alan; Wärmländer, Sebastian K T S

    2015-07-01

    The mastoid process is one of the most sexually dimorphic features in the human skull, and is therefore often used to identify the sex of skeletons. Numerous techniques for assessing variation in the size and shape of the mastoid process have been proposed and implemented in osteological research, but its complex form still presents difficulties for consistent and effective analysis. In this article, we compare the different techniques and variables that have been used to define, measure, and visually score sexual dimorphism in the mastoid process. We argue that the current protocols fail to capture the full morphological range of this bony projection, and suggest ways of improving and standardizing them, regarding both traditional and 3D-based approaches. PMID:25865024

  19. Genetic basis and biotechnological manipulation of sexual dimorphism and sex determination in fish.

    PubMed

    Mei, Jie; Gui, Jian-Fang

    2015-02-01

    Aquaculture has made an enormous contribution to the world food production, especially to the sustainable supply of animal proteins. The utility of diverse reproduction strategies in fish, such as the exploiting use of unisexual gynogenesis, has created a typical case of fish genetic breeding. A number of fish species show substantial sexual dimorphism that is closely linked to multiple economic traits including growth rate and body size, and the efficient development of sex-linked genetic markers and sex control biotechnologies has provided significant approaches to increase the production and value for commercial purposes. Along with the rapid development of genomics and molecular genetic techniques, the genetic basis of sexual dimorphism has been gradually deciphered, and great progress has been made in the mechanisms of fish sex determination and identification of sex-determining genes. This review summarizes the progress to provide some directive and objective thinking for further research in this field. PMID:25563981

  20. Sexual dimorphism of abdominal aortic aneurysms: a striking example of "male disadvantage" in cardiovascular disease.

    PubMed

    Bloomer, Lisa D S; Bown, Matthew J; Tomaszewski, Maciej

    2012-11-01

    The abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a permanent, localised, dilation of the abdominal aorta that causes death in 80% of patients if left untreated. An apparent male predominance in AAA has been observed in most studies, with a male: female gender ratio of ∼6:1 between the ages 60 years-64 years. The majority of risk factors for AAA exhibit sexual dimorphism but no single risk factor shows a higher magnitude of "male disadvantage" than AAA itself. This in turn suggests that the additive effects of risk factors may better explain the higher prevalence of AAA in men than women compared to each individual factor. Amongst others, sex steroids and sex chromosomes have been hypothesised to act as the drivers of this sexual dimorphism. Future research should focus on the major biological differences between the sexes identifying why men are at more risk of AAA than women. PMID:22840688

  1. Sexual dimorphism in Hucul horses using discriminant analysis.

    PubMed

    Purzyc, H; Kobryńczuk, F; Bojarski, J

    2011-02-01

    The purpose of this study has been to evaluate the applicability of discriminant function analysis to determine gender dimorphism in Hucul horses, based on morphological indices obtained in different stages of life. A total of 243 horses, divided into six age groups, have been examined in its course. For each horse we have measured 12 metric traits, which were then used to calculate 13 biometric indices commonly used in horse breeding in Poland. These have become the basis for defining functions classifying the animals by gender in each of the six age groups. This study answers the question of what parameters play the greatest role in the course of shaping of body proportions of male and female horses in post-foetal development. The following indices have been found to significantly contribute in discriminant models: boniness, smaller trunk length, height at the croup, pelvis width and width of chest. PMID:22439946

  2. The neuroanatomy of sexual dimorphism in opioid analgesia.

    PubMed

    Loyd, Dayna R; Murphy, Anne Z

    2014-09-01

    The influence of sex has been neglected in clinical studies on pain and analgesia, with the vast majority of research conducted exclusively in males. However, both preclinical and clinical studies indicate that males and females differ in both the anatomical and physiological composition of central nervous system circuits that are involved in pain processing and analgesia. These differences influence not only the response to noxious stimuli, but also the ability of pharmacological agents to modify this response. Morphine is the most widely prescribed opiate for the alleviation of persistent pain in the clinic; however, it is becoming increasingly clear that morphine is less potent in women compared to men. This review highlights recent research identifying neuroanatomical and physiological dimorphisms underlying sex differences in pain and opioid analgesia, focusing on the endogenous descending pain modulatory circuit. PMID:24731947

  3. The Neuroanatomy of Sexual Dimorphism in Opioid Analgesia

    PubMed Central

    Loyd, Dayna R.; Murphy, Anne Z.

    2014-01-01

    The influence of sex has been neglected in clinical studies on pain and analgesia, with the vast majority of research conducted exclusively in males. However, both preclinical and clinical studies indicate that males and females differ in both the anatomical and physiological composition of central nervous system circuits that are involved in pain processing and analgesia. These differences influence not only the response to noxious stimuli, but also the ability of pharmacological agents to modify this response. Morphine is the most widely prescribed opiate for the alleviation of persistent pain in the clinic; however, it is becoming increasingly clear that morphine is less potent in women compared to men. This review highlights recent research identifying neuroanatomical and physiological dimorphisms underlying sex differences in pain and opioid analgesia, focusing on the endogenous descending pain modulatory circuit. PMID:24731947

  4. Sexual dimorphism of the mandible in a contemporary Chinese Han population.

    PubMed

    Dong, Hongmei; Deng, Mohong; Wang, WenPeng; Zhang, Ji; Mu, Jiao; Zhu, Guanghui

    2015-10-01

    A present limitation of forensic anthropology practice in China is the lack of population-specific criteria on contemporary human skeletons. In this study, a sample of 203 maxillofacial Cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) images, including 96 male and 107 female cases (20-65 years old), was analyzed to explore mandible sexual dimorphism in a population of contemporary adult Han Chinese to investigate the potential use of the mandible as sex indicator. A three-dimensional image from mandible CBCT scans was reconstructed using the SimPlant Pro 11.40 software. Nine linear and two angular parameters were measured. Discriminant function analysis (DFA) and logistic regression analysis (LRA) were used to develop the mathematics models for sex determination. All of the linear measurements studied and one angular measurement were found to be sexually dimorphic, with the maximum mandibular length and bi-condylar breadth being the most dimorphic by univariate DFA and LRA respectively. The cross-validated sex allocation accuracies on multivariate were ranged from 84.2% (direct DFA), 83.5% (direct LRA), 83.3% (stepwise DFA) to 80.5% (stepwise LRA). In general, multivariate DFA yielded a higher accuracy and LRA obtained a lower sex bias, and therefore both DFA and LRA had their own advantages for sex determination by the mandible in this sample. These results suggest that the mandible expresses sexual dimorphism in the contemporary adult Han Chinese population, indicating an excellent sexual discriminatory ability. Cone beam computed tomography scanning can be used as alternative source for contemporary osteometric techniques. PMID:26146162

  5. Deterioration of the Gαo Vomeronasal Pathway in Sexually Dimorphic Mammals

    PubMed Central

    Suárez, Rodrigo; Fernández-Aburto, Pedro; Manger, Paul R.; Mpodozis, Jorge

    2011-01-01

    In mammals, social and sexual behaviours are largely mediated by the vomeronasal system (VNS). The accessory olfactory bulb (AOB) is the first synaptic locus of the VNS and ranges from very large in Caviomorph rodents, small in carnivores and ungulates, to its complete absence in apes, elephants, most bats and aquatic species. Two pathways have been described in the VNS of mammals. In mice, vomeronasal neurons expressing Gαi2 protein project to the rostral portion of the AOB and respond mostly to small volatile molecules, whereas neurons expressing Gαo project to the caudal AOB and respond mostly to large non-volatile molecules. However, the Gαo-expressing pathway is absent in several species (horses, dogs, musk shrews, goats and marmosets) but no hypotheses have been proposed to date to explain the loss of that pathway. We noted that the species that lost the Gαo pathway belong to Laurasiatheria and Primates lineages, both clades with ubiquitous sexual dimorphisms across species. To assess whether similar events of Gαo pathway loss could have occurred convergently in dimorphic species we studied G-protein expression in the AOB of two species that independently evolved sexually dimorphic traits: the California ground squirrel Spermophilus beecheyi (Rodentia; Sciurognathi) and the cape hyrax Procavia capensis (Afrotheria; Hyracoidea). We found that both species show uniform expression of Gαi2-protein throughout AOB glomeruli, while Gαo expression is restricted to main olfactory glomeruli only. Our results suggest that the degeneration of the Gαo-expressing vomeronasal pathway has occurred independently at least four times in Eutheria, possibly related to the emergence of sexual dimorphisms and the ability of detecting the gender of conspecifics at distance. PMID:22039487

  6. Sex-Biased Gene Expression during Head Development in a Sexually Dimorphic Stalk-Eyed Fly

    PubMed Central

    Wilkinson, Gerald S.; Johns, Philip M.; Metheny, Jackie D.; Baker, Richard H.

    2013-01-01

    Stalk-eyed flies (family Diopsidae) are a model system for studying sexual selection due to the elongated and sexually dimorphic eye-stalks found in many species. These flies are of additional interest because their X chromosome is derived largely from an autosomal arm in other flies. To identify candidate genes required for development of dimorphic eyestalks and investigate how sex-biased expression arose on the novel X, we compared gene expression between males and females using oligonucleotide microarrays and RNA from developing eyestalk tissue or adult heads in the dimorphic diopsid, Teleopsis dalmanni. Microarray analysis revealed sex-biased expression for 26% of 3,748 genes expressed in eye-antennal imaginal discs and concordant sex-biased expression for 86 genes in adult heads. Overall, 415 female-biased and 482 male-biased genes were associated with dimorphic eyestalk development but not differential expression in the adult head. Functional analysis revealed that male-biased genes are disproportionately associated with growth and mitochondrial function while female-biased genes are associated with cell differentiation and patterning or are novel transcripts. With regard to chromosomal effects, dosage compensation occurs by elevated expression of X-linked genes in males. Genes with female-biased expression were more common on the X and less common on autosomes than expected, while male-biased genes exhibited no chromosomal pattern. Rates of protein evolution were lower for female-biased genes but higher for genes that moved on or off the novel X chromosome. These findings cannot be due to meiotic sex chromosome inactivation or by constraints associated with dosage compensation. Instead, they could be consistent with sexual conflict in which female-biased genes on the novel X act primarily to reduce eyespan in females while other genes increase eyespan in both sexes. Additional information on sex-biased gene expression in other tissues and related sexually

  7. Pituitary and Brain Dopamine D2 Receptors Regulate Liver Gene Sexual Dimorphism

    PubMed Central

    Ramirez, Maria Cecilia; Ornstein, Ana Maria; Luque, Guillermina Maria; Perez Millan, Maria Ines; Garcia-Tornadu, Isabel; Rubinstein, Marcelo

    2015-01-01

    Liver sexual gene dimorphism, which depends mainly on specific patterns of GH secretion, may underlie differential susceptibility to some liver diseases. Because GH and prolactin secretion are regulated by dopaminergic pathways, we studied the participation of brain and lactotrope dopamine 2 receptors (D2Rs) on liver gene sexual dimorphism, to explore a link between the brain and liver gene expression. We used global D2R knockout mice (Drd2−/−) and conducted a functional dissection strategy based on cell-specific Drd2 inactivation in neurons (neuroDrd2KO) or pituitary lactotropes. Disruption of neuronal D2Rs (which impaired the GH axis) decreased most of male or female-predominant class I liver genes and increased female–predominant class II genes in males, consistent with the positive (class I) or negative (class II) regulation of these genes by GH. Notably, sexual dimorphism was lost for class I and II genes in neuroDrd2KO mice. Disruption of lactotrope D2Rs did not modify class I or II genes in either sex, because GH axis was preserved. But surprisingly, 1 class II gene (Prlr) and female-predominant class I genes were markedly up-regulated in lacDrd2KO females, pointing to direct or indirect effects of prolactin in the regulation of selected female-predominant liver genes. This suggestion was strengthened in the hyperprolactinemic Drd2−/− female mouse, in which increased expression of the same 4 liver genes was observed, despite a decreased GH axis. We hereby demonstrate endocrine-mediated D2R actions on sexual dimorphic liver gene expression, which may be relevant during chronic dopaminergic medications in psychiatric disease. PMID:25545383

  8. Sex biased expression of ghrelin and GHSR associated with sexual size dimorphism in yellow catfish.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jin; Ma, Wenge; He, Yan; Wu, Junjie; Dawar, Farman Ullah; Ren, Fan; Zhao, Xiaohan; Mei, Jie

    2016-03-10

    Sexual size dimorphism has been observed in many cultivable fish species including yellow catfish, in which male fish grow much faster than female fish. Ghrelin is a potent stimulator of pituitary growth hormone (GH) release and known to potentially promote food intake and body weight gain. In order to investigate the molecular mechanism of sexual size dimorphism in yellow catfish (Pelteobagrus fulvidraco), ghrelin and its functional receptor, growth hormone secretagogue receptor (GHSR) cDNAs were cloned. Real-time PCR indicated that both ghrelin and GHSR were more highly expressed in hypothalamus and gut of male fish than female. During normal larval development, expression of ghrelin and GHSR genes was significantly higher in males than in females. 17a-Methyltestosterone (MT) treatment enhanced the expression of ghrelin in female larval fish and GHSR in both sexes, whereas the expression of ghrelin in male larval fish increased in the beginning, then decreased as the treatment time prolonged. Furthermore, the expression of ghrelin and GHSR in male juvenile was significantly increased compared with female juvenile, in short and long term fasting periods, suggesting that male fish may have a better appetite than female during fasting. Our results demonstrate that sex difference in the expression of ghrelin and GHSR may be involved in sexual size dimorphism by regulating feeding and GH/IGF signaling in yellow catfish. PMID:26692148

  9. Gene expression in human brain implicates sexually dimorphic pathways in autism spectrum disorders

    PubMed Central

    Werling, Donna M.; Parikshak, Neelroop N.; Geschwind, Daniel H.

    2016-01-01

    Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is more prevalent in males, and the mechanisms behind this sex-differential risk are not fully understood. Two competing, but not mutually exclusive, hypotheses are that ASD risk genes are sex-differentially regulated, or alternatively, that they interact with characteristic sexually dimorphic pathways. Here we characterized sexually dimorphic gene expression in multiple data sets from neurotypical adult and prenatal human neocortical tissue, and evaluated ASD risk genes for evidence of sex-biased expression. We find no evidence for systematic sex-differential expression of ASD risk genes. Instead, we observe that genes expressed at higher levels in males are significantly enriched for genes upregulated in post-mortem autistic brain, including astrocyte and microglia markers. This suggests that it is not sex-differential regulation of ASD risk genes, but rather naturally occurring sexually dimorphic processes, potentially including neuron–glial interactions, that modulate the impact of risk variants and contribute to the sex-skewed prevalence of ASD. PMID:26892004

  10. Women's hormone levels modulate the motivational salience of facial attractiveness and sexual dimorphism.

    PubMed

    Wang, Hongyi; Hahn, Amanda C; Fisher, Claire I; DeBruine, Lisa M; Jones, Benedict C

    2014-12-01

    The physical attractiveness of faces is positively correlated with both behavioral and neural measures of their motivational salience. Although previous work suggests that hormone levels modulate women's perceptions of others' facial attractiveness, studies have not yet investigated whether hormone levels also modulate the motivational salience of facial characteristics. To address this issue, we investigated the relationships between within-subject changes in women's salivary hormone levels (estradiol, progesterone, testosterone, and estradiol-to-progesterone ratio) and within-subject changes in the motivational salience of attractiveness and sexual dimorphism in male and female faces. The motivational salience of physically attractive faces in general and feminine female faces, but not masculine male faces, was greater in test sessions where women had high testosterone levels. Additionally, the reward value of sexually dimorphic faces in general and attractive female faces, but not attractive male faces, was greater in test sessions where women had high estradiol-to-progesterone ratios. These results provide the first evidence that the motivational salience of facial attractiveness and sexual dimorphism is modulated by within-woman changes in hormone levels. PMID:25244638

  11. Sexually dimorphic effect of in vitro fertilization (IVF) on adult mouse fat and liver metabolomes.

    PubMed

    Feuer, Sky K; Donjacour, Annemarie; Simbulan, Rhodel K; Lin, Wingka; Liu, Xiaowei; Maltepe, Emin; Rinaudo, Paolo F

    2014-11-01

    The preimplantation embryo is particularly vulnerable to environmental perturbation, such that nutritional and in vitro stresses restricted exclusively to this stage may alter growth and affect long-term metabolic health. This is particularly relevant to the over 5 million children conceived by in vitro fertilization (IVF). We previously reported that even optimized IVF conditions reprogram mouse postnatal growth, fat deposition, and glucose homeostasis in a sexually dimorphic fashion. To more clearly interrogate the metabolic changes associated with IVF in adulthood, we used nontargeted mass spectrometry to globally profile adult IVF- and in vivo-conceived liver and gonadal adipose tissues. There was a sex- and tissue-specific effect of IVF on adult metabolite signatures indicative of metabolic reprogramming and oxidative stress and reflective of the observed phenotypes. Additionally, we observed a striking effect of IVF on adult sexual dimorphism. Male-female differences in metabolite concentration were exaggerated in hepatic IVF tissue and significantly reduced in IVF adipose tissue, with the majority of changes affecting amino acid and lipid metabolites. We also observed female-specific changes in markers of oxidative stress and adipogenesis, including reduced glutathione, cysteine glutathione disulfide, ophthalmate, urate, and corticosterone. In summary, embryo manipulation and early developmental experiences can affect adult patterns of sexual dimorphism and metabolic physiology. PMID:25211591

  12. Reversed brain size sexual dimorphism accompanies loss of parental care in white sticklebacks

    PubMed Central

    Samuk, Kieran; Iritani, Davis; Schluter, Dolph

    2014-01-01

    Uncovering factors that shape variation in brain morphology remains a major challenge in evolutionary biology. Recently, it has been shown that brain size is positively associated with level of parental care behavior in various taxa. One explanation for this pattern is that the cognitive demands of performing complex parental care may require increased brain size. This idea is known as the parental brain hypothesis (PBH). We set out to test the predictions of this hypothesis in wild populations of threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus). These fish are commonly known to exhibit (1) uniparental male care and (2) sexual dimorphism in brain size (males>females). To test the PBH, we took advantage of the existence of closely related populations of stickleback that display variation in parental care behavior: common marine threespine sticklebacks (uniparental male care) and white threespine sticklebacks (no care). To begin, we quantified genetic differentiation among two common populations and three white populations from Nova Scotia. We found overall low differentiation among populations, although FST was increased in between-type comparisons. We then measured the brain weights of males and females from all five populations along with two additional common populations from British Columbia. We found that sexual dimorphism in brain size is reversed in white stickleback populations: males have smaller brains than females. Thus, while several alternatives need to be ruled out, the PBH appears to be a reasonable explanation for sexual dimorphism in brain size in threespine sticklebacks. PMID:25473476

  13. Vesicular acetylcholine transporter knock-down mice show sexual dimorphism on memory.

    PubMed

    Capettini, Suellem B; Moraes, Márcio F D; Prado, Vânia F; Prado, Marco A M; Pereira, Grace S

    2011-04-25

    The key neural substrates involved in memory and cognitive tasks have been reported to receive important modulation from ovarian hormones. In fact, neurochemical systems associated with cognitive functions, such as the cholinergic system, are, at least in part, under modulation of estrogens. Here we show that vesicular acetylcholine transporter (VAChT) mutant mice, which express lower levels of the VAChT (VAChT KD) and reduced acetylcholine release, present sexual dimorphism on memory. We evaluate short- and long-term object recognition memories (STM and LTM) in both sexes. We have showed previously, and confirm here, that VAChT KDHET male mice present deficits in both STM and LTM object recognition memories in comparison with WT. In contrast, VAChT KDHET female mice present deficit in LTM, but not in STM. To test if the female hormones levels could be a determinant factor on sexual dimorphism observed, we submitted female mice to ovariectomy (OVX) or sham-surgery. After 1 week (1 w), we evaluate STM. Female hormone deprivation promotes STM impairment in VAChT KDHET, but not in WT female mice. Our results strongly suggest that the sexual dimorphism observed in VAChT KDHET mice on STM is due to modulation of cholinergic system by ovarian hormones. PMID:21329745

  14. The postnatal ontogeny of the sexually dimorphic vocal apparatus in goitred gazelles (Gazella subgutturosa).

    PubMed

    Efremova, Kseniya O; Frey, Roland; Volodin, Ilya A; Fritsch, Guido; Soldatova, Natalia V; Volodina, Elena V

    2016-06-01

    This study quantitatively documents the progressive development of sexual dimorphism of the vocal organs along the ontogeny of the goitred gazelle (Gazella subgutturosa). The major, male-specific secondary sexual features, of vocal anatomy in goitred gazelle are an enlarged larynx and a marked laryngeal descent. These features appear to have evolved by sexual selection and may serve as a model for similar events in male humans. Sexual dimorphism of larynx size and larynx position in adult goitred gazelles is more pronounced than in humans, whereas the vocal anatomy of neonate goitred gazelles does not differ between sexes. This study examines the vocal anatomy of 19 (11 male, 8 female) goitred gazelle specimens across three age-classes, that is, neonates, subadults and mature adults. The postnatal ontogenetic development of the vocal organs up to their respective end states takes considerably longer in males than in females. Both sexes share the same features of vocal morphology but differences emerge in the course of ontogeny, ultimately resulting in the pronounced sexual dimorphism of the vocal apparatus in adults. The main differences comprise larynx size, vocal fold length, vocal tract length, and mobility of the larynx. The resilience of the thyrohyoid ligament and the pharynx, including the soft palate, and the length changes during contraction and relaxation of the extrinsic laryngeal muscles play a decisive role in the mobility of the larynx in both sexes but to substantially different degrees in adult females and males. Goitred gazelles are born with an undescended larynx and, therefore, larynx descent has to develop in the course of ontogeny. This might result from a trade-off between natural selection and sexual selection requiring a temporal separation of different laryngeal functions at birth and shortly after from those later in life. J. Morphol. 277:826-844, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26997608

  15. Sexually dimorphic characteristics of the small intestine and colon of prepubescent C57BL/6 mice

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background There is increasing appreciation for sexually dimorphic effects, but the molecular mechanisms underlying these effects are only partially understood. In the present study, we explored transcriptomics and epigenetic differences in the small intestine and colon of prepubescent male and female mice. In addition, the microbiota composition of the colonic luminal content has been examined. Methods At postnatal day 14, male and female C57BL/6 mice were sacrificed and the small intestine, colon and content of luminal colon were isolated. Gene expression of both segments of the intestine was analysed by microarray analysis. DNA methylation of the promoter regions of selected sexually dimorphic genes was examined by pyrosequencing. Composition of the microbiota was explored by deep sequencing. Results Sexually dimorphic genes were observed in both segments of the intestine of 2-week-old mouse pups, with a stronger effect in the small intestine. Amongst the total of 349 genes displaying a sexually dimorphic effect in the small intestine and/or colon, several candidates exhibited a previously established function in the intestine (i.e. Nts, Nucb2, Alox5ap and Retnlγ). In addition, differential expression of genes linked to intestinal bowel disease (i.e. Ccr3, Ccl11 and Tnfr) and colorectal cancer development (i.e. Wt1 and Mmp25) was observed between males and females. Amongst the genes displaying significant sexually dimorphic expression, nine genes were histone-modifying enzymes, suggesting that epigenetic mechanisms might be a potential underlying regulatory mechanism. However, our results reveal no significant changes in DNA methylation of analysed CpGs within the selected differentially expressed genes. With respect to the bacterial community composition in the colon, a dominant effect of litter origin was found but no significant sex effect was detected. However, a sex effect on the dominance of specific taxa was observed. Conclusions This study reveals

  16. Anatomic and acoustic sexual dimorphism in the sound emission system of Phoenicoprocta capistrata (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodríguez-Loeches, Laura; Barro, Alejandro; Pérez, Martha; Coro, Frank

    2009-04-01

    Both sexes of Phoenicoprocta capistrata have functional tymbals. The scanning electron microscopy revealed differences in the morphology of these organs in males and females. Male tymbals have a well-developed striated band, constituted by 21 ± 2 regularly arranged striae whereas female tymbals lack a striated band. This type of sexual dimorphism is rare in Arctiidae. The recording of the sound produced by moths held by the wings revealed that while males produced trains of pulses organized in modulation cycles, females produced clicks at low repetition rate following very irregular patterns. Statistically, there are differences between sexes in terms of the duration of pulses, which were 355 ± 24 μs in the case of males and 289 ± 29 μs for females. The spectral characteristics of the pulses also show sexual dimorphism. Male pulses are more tuned ( Q 10 = 5.2 ± 0.5) than female pulses ( Q 10 = 2.7 ± 0.5) and have a higher best frequency (42 ± 1 kHz vs. 29 ± 2 kHz). To our knowledge, this is the first report on an arctiid moth showing sexual dimorphism in tymbal’s anatomy that leads to a best frequency dimorphism. Males produce sound at mating attempts. The sounds recorded during mating are modulation cycles with the same spectral characteristics as those recorded when males are held by the wings. The morphological and acoustic features of female tymbals could indicate a process of degeneration and adaptation to conditions under which the emission of complex patterns is not necessary.

  17. Sexual Dimorphism in the Response of Mercurialis annua to Stress

    PubMed Central

    Orlofsky, Ezra M.; Kozhoridze, Giorgi; Lyubenova, Lyudmila; Ostrozhenkova, Elena; Winkler, J. Barbro; Schröder, Peter; Bacher, Adelbert; Eisenreich, Wolfgang; Guy, Micha; Golan-Goldhirsh, Avi

    2016-01-01

    The research presented stemmed from the observations that female plants of the annual dioecious Mercurialis annua outlive male plants. This led to the hypothesis that female plants of M. annua would be more tolerant to stress than male plants. This hypothesis was addressed in a comprehensive way, by comparing morphological, biochemical and metabolomics changes in female and male plants during their development and under salinity. There were practically no differences between the genders in vegetative development and physiological parameters. However, under salinity conditions, female plants produced significantly more new reproductive nodes. Gender-linked differences in peroxidase (POD) and glutathione transferases (GSTs) were involved in anti-oxidation, detoxification and developmental processes in M. annua. 1H NMR metabolite profiling of female and male M. annua plants showed that under salinity the activity of the TCA cycle increased. There was also an increase in betaine in both genders, which may be explainable by its osmo-compatible function under salinity. The concentration of ten metabolites changed in both genders, while ‘Female-only-response’ to salinity was detected for five metabolites. In conclusion, dimorphic responses of M. annua plant genders to stress may be attributed to female plants’ capacity to survive and complete the reproductive life cycle. PMID:27128954

  18. Sexual Dimorphism in the Response of Mercurialis annua to Stress.

    PubMed

    Orlofsky, Ezra M; Kozhoridze, Giorgi; Lyubenova, Lyudmila; Ostrozhenkova, Elena; Winkler, J Barbro; Schröder, Peter; Bacher, Adelbert; Eisenreich, Wolfgang; Guy, Micha; Golan-Goldhirsh, Avi

    2016-01-01

    The research presented stemmed from the observations that female plants of the annual dioecious Mercurialis annua outlive male plants. This led to the hypothesis that female plants of M. annua would be more tolerant to stress than male plants. This hypothesis was addressed in a comprehensive way, by comparing morphological, biochemical and metabolomics changes in female and male plants during their development and under salinity. There were practically no differences between the genders in vegetative development and physiological parameters. However, under salinity conditions, female plants produced significantly more new reproductive nodes. Gender-linked differences in peroxidase (POD) and glutathione transferases (GSTs) were involved in anti-oxidation, detoxification and developmental processes in M. annua. ¹H NMR metabolite profiling of female and male M. annua plants showed that under salinity the activity of the TCA cycle increased. There was also an increase in betaine in both genders, which may be explainable by its osmo-compatible function under salinity. The concentration of ten metabolites changed in both genders, while 'Female-only-response' to salinity was detected for five metabolites. In conclusion, dimorphic responses of M. annua plant genders to stress may be attributed to female plants' capacity to survive and complete the reproductive life cycle. PMID:27128954

  19. Effects of sexual dimorphism and landscape composition on the trophic behavior of Greater Prairie-Chicken.

    PubMed

    Blanco-Fontao, Beatriz; Sandercock, Brett K; Obeso, José Ramón; McNew, Lance B; Quevedo, Mario

    2013-01-01

    Partitioning of ecological niche is expected in lekking species that show marked sexual size dimorphism as a consequence of sex-specific ecological constraints. However, niche partitioning is uncertain in species with moderate sexual dimorphism. In addition, the ecological niche of a species may also be affected by landscape composition; particularly, agricultural fragmentation may greatly influence the trophic behavior of herbivores. We studied trophic niche variation in Greater Prairie-Chickens (Tympanuchus cupido), a grouse species that shows moderate sex-dimorphism. Greater Prairie-Chickens are native to tallgrass prairies of North America, although populations persist in less natural mosaics of cropland and native habitats. We used stable isotope analysis of carbon and nitrogen in blood, claws and feathers to assess seasonal differences in trophic niche breadth and individual specialization between male and female Greater Prairie-Chickens, and between birds living in continuous and fragmented landscapes. We found that females showed broader niches and higher individual specialization than males, especially in winter and autumn. However, differences between females and males were smaller in spring when birds converge at leks, suggesting that females and males may exhibit similar feeding behaviors during the lekking period. In addition, we found that birds living in native prairies showed greater annual trophic variability than conspecifics in agricultural mosaic landscapes. Native habitats may provide greater dietary diversity, resulting in greater diversity of feeding strategies. PMID:24244588

  20. Hormonal control of polymorphic and sexually dimorphic coloration in the lizard Sceloporus undulatus erythrocheilus.

    PubMed

    Rand, M S

    1992-12-01

    This study investigated the influence of sex steroids on the expression of seasonally labile and sexually dimorphic coloration in the red-lipped plateau lizard. The responses of ventral blue and polymorphic facial coloration to exogenous steroid administration were assessed. Though facial color is usually dimorphic in nature, males and females did not differ in the degree to which they expressed facial coloration following administration of testosterone (T). Both sexes developed significantly more ventral blue coloration than controls, but a fundamental dimorphism in intensity, favoring males, was maintained throughout the experiment. These results indicate that facial coloration is under activational influence of T. The ventral blue coloration is probably organized at sexual maturation, thus manifesting the more vivid expression in males. Males of this subspecies are polymorphic for facial coloration. Administration of T did not cause any lizards to change hue, whether their color morph was yellow or orange or lacked the facial pigments altogether. The difference among color morphs is probably not controlled by differences in circulating steroid concentrations and is hypothesized to be under genetic control. PMID:1490591

  1. Lip morphometry in 600 North Indian adults: a data base study for sexual dimorphism.

    PubMed

    Goel, Archana; Patnaik, Vvg; Puri, Nidhi

    2015-01-01

    The study comprised lip morphometry of 600 North Indian adults (300 males and 300 females). The aim of the study was to create base data of various linear and vertical measurements of the upper and lower lips and width of the mouth. This standard may serve as a guideline for sexual dimorphism as well as for restoration or enhancement of esthetic and plastic surgery for the lips in the north Indian population, which will enable the surgeon to offer a better cosmetic result. Prior informed written consent from all the subjects was obtained. The exclusion and inclusion criteria for the subjects were predefined. The analysis shows the sexual dimorphism in most parameters of lips being greater in males. The results were compared with the available data for north white Americans, Malays, Malaysian Indians, Italians, western Indians and Caucasians. In the population under study, the measurements differ in all dimensions with Malays, Italians and Caucasians and show resemblance to the Malaysian Indians. Knowledge of the proportion between the upper and lower lips helps in surgical correction of the region. This study highlights the applied significance of observations of the present study to forensic, namely racial and sex dimorphic, criteria of identification. PMID:24644225

  2. Effects of Sexual Dimorphism and Landscape Composition on the Trophic Behavior of Greater Prairie-Chicken

    PubMed Central

    Blanco-Fontao, Beatriz; Sandercock, Brett K.; Obeso, José Ramón; McNew, Lance B.; Quevedo, Mario

    2013-01-01

    Partitioning of ecological niche is expected in lekking species that show marked sexual size dimorphism as a consequence of sex-specific ecological constraints. However, niche partitioning is uncertain in species with moderate sexual dimorphism. In addition, the ecological niche of a species may also be affected by landscape composition; particularly, agricultural fragmentation may greatly influence the trophic behavior of herbivores. We studied trophic niche variation in Greater Prairie-Chickens (Tympanuchus cupido), a grouse species that shows moderate sex-dimorphism. Greater Prairie-Chickens are native to tallgrass prairies of North America, although populations persist in less natural mosaics of cropland and native habitats. We used stable isotope analysis of carbon and nitrogen in blood, claws and feathers to assess seasonal differences in trophic niche breadth and individual specialization between male and female Greater Prairie-Chickens, and between birds living in continuous and fragmented landscapes. We found that females showed broader niches and higher individual specialization than males, especially in winter and autumn. However, differences between females and males were smaller in spring when birds converge at leks, suggesting that females and males may exhibit similar feeding behaviors during the lekking period. In addition, we found that birds living in native prairies showed greater annual trophic variability than conspecifics in agricultural mosaic landscapes. Native habitats may provide greater dietary diversity, resulting in greater diversity of feeding strategies. PMID:24244588

  3. Mitochondrial maintenance failure in aging and role of sexual dimorphism

    PubMed Central

    Tower, John

    2014-01-01

    Gene expression changes during aging are partly conserved across species, and suggest that oxidative stress, inflammation and proteotoxicity result from mitochondrial malfunction and abnormal mitochondrial-nuclear signaling. Mitochondrial maintenance failure may result from trade-offs between mitochondrial turnover versus growth and reproduction, sexual antagonistic pleiotropy and genetic conflicts resulting from uni-parental mitochondrial transmission, as well as mitochondrial and nuclear mutations and loss of epigenetic regulation. Aging phenotypes and interventions are often sex-specific, indicating that both male and female sexual differentiation promote mitochondrial failure and aging. Studies in mammals and invertebrates implicate autophagy, apoptosis, AKT, PARP, p53 and FOXO in mediating sex-specific differences in stress resistance and aging. The data support a model where the genes Sxl in Drosophila, sdc-2 in C. elegans, and Xist in mammals regulate mitochondrial maintenance across generations and in aging. Several interventions that increase life span cause a mitochondrial unfolded protein response (UPRmt), and UPRmt is also observed during normal aging, indicating hormesis. The UPRmt may increase life span by stimulating mitochondrial turnover through autophagy, and/or by inhibiting the production of hormones and toxic metabolites. The data suggest that metazoan life span interventions may act through a common hormesis mechanism involving liver UPRmt, mitochondrial maintenance and sexual differentiation. PMID:25447815

  4. The effects of embryonic treatments with gonadal hormones on sexually dimorphic behavior of chicks.

    PubMed

    Sayag, N; Robinzon, B; Snapir, N; Arnon, E; Grimm, V E

    1991-06-01

    In order to study the role of sex steroids in the differentiation of chick behavior, two groups of experiments were carried out. The first part of the study documented sexual dimorphisms in three behavioral measures in chicks: open-field activity, flocking response, and masculine sexual behavior activated by testosterone (crowing, waltzing, and mating attempts). In the second part, possible organizing influences on these sexually dimorphic behaviors were examined. Male and female embryos were injected with estradiol benzoate (EB) or testosterone propionate (TP). Treatment of males with EB or TP demasculinized all three behaviors. None of the steroid treatments had any effect on the behavior of the females. Plasma testosterone levels of the chicks were not affected by any of these treatments, either before or after testosterone activation. Comb weight was reduced by treatment of male embryos with EB and increased by TP in female embryos, which suggests different mechanism for the development of somatic and behavioral characteristics. The results suggest that exogenous T or E given embryonically can exert similar effects on both sexual behavior and nonreproductive activity of chicks. PMID:2066077

  5. Male-Specific Fruitless Isoforms Target Neurodevelopmental Genes to Specify a Sexually Dimorphic Nervous System

    PubMed Central

    Neville, Megan C.; Nojima, Tetsuya; Ashley, Elizabeth; Parker, Darren J.; Walker, John; Southall, Tony; Van de Sande, Bram; Marques, Ana C.; Fischer, Bettina; Brand, Andrea H.; Russell, Steven; Ritchie, Michael G.; Aerts, Stein; Goodwin, Stephen F.

    2014-01-01

    Summary Background In Drosophila, male courtship behavior is regulated in large part by the gene fruitless (fru). fru encodes a set of putative transcription factors that promote male sexual behavior by controlling the development of sexually dimorphic neuronal circuitry. Little is known about how Fru proteins function at the level of transcriptional regulation or the role that isoform diversity plays in the formation of a male-specific nervous system. Results To characterize the roles of sex-specific Fru isoforms in specifying male behavior, we generated novel isoform-specific mutants and used a genomic approach to identify direct Fru isoform targets during development. We demonstrate that all Fru isoforms directly target genes involved in the development of the nervous system, with individual isoforms exhibiting unique binding specificities. We observe that fru behavioral phenotypes are specified by either a single isoform or a combination of isoforms. Finally, we illustrate the utility of these data for the identification of novel sexually dimorphic genomic enhancers and novel downstream regulators of male sexual behavior. Conclusions These findings suggest that Fru isoform diversity facilitates both redundancy and specificity in gene expression, and that the regulation of neuronal developmental genes may be the most ancient and conserved role of fru in the specification of a male-specific nervous system. PMID:24440396

  6. Demographic correlates of sexual size dimorphism and male genital size in the lice Philopterus coarctatus.

    PubMed

    Tryjanowski, Piotr; Adamski, Zbigniew; Dylewska, Magdalena; Bulkai, Lajos; Rózsa, Lajos

    2009-10-01

    Sexual selection is an influential agent of evolution, often shaping the sex ratio, sexual size dimorphism (SSD), and genital size in animals. To explore its effects in ectoparasites, we quantified SSD and male genital size in relation to intensity and sex ratio across subpopulations of Philopterus coarctatus, a philopterid louse of the great grey shrike. SSD was calculated separately for the width and length of the head and abdomen. Presuming that sexual selection affects the evolution of avian lice, we would expect that infestation intensities should covary with sex ratio, relative male size, and relative male genital size, either positively or negatively depending upon presumptions. Contrary to former studies, there was a weak negative relationship between infestation intensity and sex ratio. The relative width of male abdomens exhibited a highly significant negative interaction with the intensity of infestations. In contrast, sex ratio did not predict any of the dimorphism measures. Similarly, male genital size did not covary with the intensity of infestations or sex ratios. These findings may indicate that intensity covaries positively with levels of inbreeding in this species, suggesting that more-inbred subpopulations, wasting less energy for sexual rivalry, can multiply more intensively. Thus, small subpopulations have more frequent males which also possess larger abdomens. Alternatively, however, the same pattern may also arise due to male-biased starvation in overcrowded habitats; thus, males are rarer and have smaller abdomens in larger infrapopulations. PMID:19320542

  7. Incorporating an ontogenetic perspective into evolutionary theory of sexual size dimorphism.

    PubMed

    Chou, Chun-Chia; Iwasa, Yoh; Nakazawa, Takefumi

    2016-02-01

    Sexual size dimorphism (SSD) describes divergent body sizes of adult males and females. While SSD has traditionally been explained by sexual and fecundity selection, recent advances in physiology and developmental biology emphasize that SSD would occur proximately because of sexual differences in ontogenetic growth trajectories (i.e., growth rate and duration). Notably, these ontogenetic traits are subject to energetic or time constraints and thus traded off with fitness components (e.g., survival and reproduction). To elucidate the importance of such ontogenetic trade-offs in the evolution of SSD, we developed a new theoretical framework by extending quantitative genetic models for the evolution of sexual dimorphism in which we reinterpret the trait as body size and reformulate sex-specific fitness in size-dependent manners. More specifically, we assume that higher growth rate or longer growth duration leads to larger body size and higher reproductive success but incurs the cost of lower survivorship or shorter reproduction period. We illustrate how two sexes would optimize ontogenetic growth trajectories in sex-specific ways and exhibit divergent body sizes. The present framework provides new insights into the evolutionary theory of SSD and predictions for empirical testing. PMID:26768067

  8. Inverse Rensch's rule in a frog with female-biased sexual size dimorphism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liao, Wen Bo; Chen, Wei

    2012-05-01

    Rensch's rule claims that sexual size dimorphism (SSD) increases with body size when males are larger but decreases with body size when males are smaller. Chinese wood frog Rana chensinensis is a medium-sized species with female-biased size dimorphism. Using data on body size and age in 27 populations covering the full known size range of the species, we tested the consistency of allometric relationships between the sexes with Rensch's rule and evaluated the hypothesis that SSD is largely a function of age differences between the sexes. The results showed that level of female-biased SSD increased with increasing mean size, supporting the inverse of Rensch's rule. Moreover, most of the variation in SSD can be explained in terms of differences in age between the sexes in populations.

  9. Sexual dimorphism in crown units of mandibular deciduous and permanent molars in Australian Aborigines.

    PubMed

    Kondo, S; Townsend, G C

    2004-01-01

    Sexual differences in the crown units of mandibular molars were investigated in Australian Aborigines. The first and second deciduous molars (dm1 and dm2), and first to third permanent molars (M1, M2 and M3) were measured on dental casts using a sliding caliper. Measurements of tooth crowns included overall mesiodistal and buccolingual diameters, as well as the mesiodistal and buccolingual diameters of the trigonid and talonid. Percentage dimorphism values were greater in the talonid dimensions than the trigonid, indicating that sex differences tend to be larger in the later-developing crown units. Sex differences in mesiodistal diameters increased from dm1 to M2 but decreased for M3, the tooth that showed the least dimorphism of all the molars. This result seems to be due to the marked variability in size of the M3 between individuals. PMID:15553268

  10. A morphological investigation of sexual and lateral dimorphism in the developing metanephric kidney.

    PubMed

    Short, Kieran M; Smyth, Ian M

    2015-01-01

    Sexual dimorphism is a prominent feature of renal physiology and as a consequence, it differentially affects predisposition to many adult kidney diseases. Furthermore the left and right kidneys differ in terms of their position, size and involvement in congenital malformations of the urogenital tract. We set out to determine whether differences in the program of branching morphogenesis that establishes the basic architecture of the kidney were apparent with respect to either sex or laterality in mouse embryonic kidneys. This was achieved using a combination of optical projection tomography imaging and computational analysis of many spatial metrics describing the branched ureteric tree. We undertook a comprehensive assessment of twelve aspects of ureteric morphology across developmental time and we found no consistent differences between kidneys of different sexes or laterality. These results suggest that dimorphism is established after birth or at a physiological or cellular level that is not reflected in the morphology of the ureteric tree. PMID:26469293

  11. Sneaker Males Affect Fighter Male Body Size and Sexual Size Dimorphism in Salmon.

    PubMed

    Weir, Laura K; Kindsvater, Holly K; Young, Kyle A; Reynolds, John D

    2016-08-01

    Large male body size is typically favored by directional sexual selection through competition for mates. However, alternative male life-history phenotypes, such as "sneakers," should decrease the strength of sexual selection acting on body size of large "fighter" males. We tested this prediction with salmon species; in southern populations, where sneakers are common, fighter males should be smaller than in northern populations, where sneakers are rare, leading to geographical clines in sexual size dimorphism (SSD). Consistent with our prediction, fighter male body size and SSD (fighter male∶female size) increase with latitude in species with sneaker males (Atlantic salmon Salmo salar and masu salmon Oncorhynchus masou) but not in species without sneakers (chum salmon Oncorhynchus keta and pink salmon Oncorhynchus gorbuscha). This is the first evidence that sneaker males affect SSD across populations and species, and it suggests that alternative male mating strategies may shape the evolution of body size. PMID:27420790

  12. Sex-specific winter distribution in a sexually dimorphic shorebird is explained by resource partitioning

    PubMed Central

    Duijns, Sjoerd; van Gils, Jan A; Spaans, Bernard; ten Horn, Job; Brugge, Maarten; Piersma, Theunis

    2014-01-01

    Sexual size dimorphism (SSD) implies correlated differences in energetic requirements and feeding opportunities, such that sexes will face different trade-offs in habitat selection. In seasonal migrants, this could result in a differential spatial distribution across the wintering range. To identify the ecological causes of sexual spatial segregation, we studied a sexually dimorphic shorebird, the bar-tailed godwit Limosa lapponica, in which females have a larger body and a longer bill than males. With respect to the trade-offs that these migratory shorebirds experience in their choice of wintering area, northern and colder wintering sites have the benefit of being closer to the Arctic breeding grounds. According to Bergmann's rule, the larger females should incur lower energetic costs per unit of body mass over males, helping them to winter in the cold. However, as the sexes have rather different bill lengths, differences in sex-specific wintering sites could also be due to the vertical distribution of their buried prey, that is, resource partitioning. Here, in a comparison between six main intertidal wintering areas across the entire winter range of the lapponica subspecies in northwest Europe, we show that the percentage of females between sites was not correlated with the cost of wintering, but was positively correlated with the biomass in the bottom layer and negatively with the biomass in the top layer. We conclude that resource partitioning, rather than relative expenditure advantages, best explains the differential spatial distribution of male and female bar-tailed godwits across northwest Europe. PMID:25505527

  13. Sexual dimorphism and feeding ecology of Diamond-backed Terrapins (Malaclemys terrapin)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Underwood, Elizabeth B.; Bowers, Sarah; Guzy, Jacquelyn C.; Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Taylor, Carole A.; Gibbons, J. Whitfield; Dorcas, Michael E.

    2013-01-01

    Natural and sexual selection are frequently invoked as causes of sexual size dimorphism in animals. Many species of turtles, including the Diamond-backed Terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin), exhibit sexual dimorphism in body size, possibly enabling the sexes to exploit different resources and reduce intraspecific competition. Female terrapins not only have larger body sizes but also disproportionately larger skulls and jaws relative to males. To better understand the relationship between skull morphology and terrapin feeding ecology, we measured the in-lever to out-lever ratios of 27 male and 33 female terrapin jaws to evaluate biomechanics of the trophic apparatus. In addition, we measured prey handling times by feeding Fiddler Crabs (Uca pugnax), a natural prey item, to 24 terrapins in the laboratory. Our results indicate that although females have disproportionately larger heads, they have similar in:out lever ratios to males, suggesting that differences in adductor muscle mass are more important in determining bite force than jaw in:out lever ratios. Females also had considerably reduced prey handling times. Understanding the factors affecting terrapin feeding ecology can illuminate the potential roles male and female terrapins play as top-down predators that regulate grazing of Periwinkle Snails (Littorina irrorata) on Cord Grass (Spartina alterniflora).

  14. Morphology and sexual dimorphism of the many-lined skink in north central New Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Hathcock, Charles D.; Wright, Marjorie Alys; Gonzales, Gilbert J.; Sias, Donald S.

    2015-09-04

    In 2001 and 2002, a study of many-lined skinks (Plestiodon multivirgatus) was conducted by Los Alamos National Laboratory biologists in north-central New Mexico to determine means and ranges for several morphological characters and to test for sexual dimorphism. Over both years, there were 539 new captures of many-lined skinks, which included 131 hatchlings. The earliest hatchling capture was on 19 June and the latest capture was on 31 August. Hatchling captures peaked on 1 August in 2001 and 6 August in 2002. The age class, sex, snout–vent length (SVL), tail length (TL), mass, head length (HL), and head width (HW) were recorded and individuals were released at the point of capture. Our results indicate that the SVL, mass, HL, and HW did not exhibit sexual dimorphism. The sex ratio was skewed toward females in this study. It is not known whether the many-lined skink has sexual determination based on environmental factors, but the data here suggest that more research is needed. From these observations, we supplement the limited existing knowledge on the morphology of this species.

  15. Morphology and sexual dimorphism of the many-lined skink in north central New Mexico

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Hathcock, Charles D.; Wright, Marjorie Alys; Gonzales, Gilbert J.; Sias, Donald S.

    2015-09-04

    In 2001 and 2002, a study of many-lined skinks (Plestiodon multivirgatus) was conducted by Los Alamos National Laboratory biologists in north-central New Mexico to determine means and ranges for several morphological characters and to test for sexual dimorphism. Over both years, there were 539 new captures of many-lined skinks, which included 131 hatchlings. The earliest hatchling capture was on 19 June and the latest capture was on 31 August. Hatchling captures peaked on 1 August in 2001 and 6 August in 2002. The age class, sex, snout–vent length (SVL), tail length (TL), mass, head length (HL), and head width (HW)more » were recorded and individuals were released at the point of capture. Our results indicate that the SVL, mass, HL, and HW did not exhibit sexual dimorphism. The sex ratio was skewed toward females in this study. It is not known whether the many-lined skink has sexual determination based on environmental factors, but the data here suggest that more research is needed. From these observations, we supplement the limited existing knowledge on the morphology of this species.« less

  16. Morphology and sexual dimorphism of the many-lined skink in north central New Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Hathcock, Charles D.; Wright, Marjorie Alys; Gonzales, Gilbert J.; Sias, Donald S.

    2015-08-01

    In 2001 and 2002, a study of many-lined skinks (Plestiodon multivirgatus) was conducted by Los Alamos National Laboratory biologists in north-central New Mexico to determine means and ranges for several morphological characters and to test for sexual dimorphism. Over both years, there were 539 new captures of many-lined skinks, which included 131 hatchlings. The earliest hatchling capture was on 19 June and the latest capture was on 31 August. Hatchling captures peaked on 1 August in 2001 and 6 August in 2002. The age class, sex, snout–vent length (SVL), tail length (TL), mass, head length (HL), and head width (HW) were recorded and individuals were released at the point of capture. Our results indicate that the SVL, mass, HL, and HW did not exhibit sexual dimorphism. The sex ratio was skewed toward females in this study. It is not known whether the many-lined skink has sexual determination based on environmental factors, but the data here suggest that more research is needed. From these observations, we supplement the limited existing knowledge on the morphology of this species.

  17. Sexually Dimorphic Responses to Early Adversity: Implications for Affective Problems and Autism Spectrum Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Davis, Elysia Poggi; Pfaff, Donald

    2014-01-01

    During gestation, development proceeds at a pace that is unmatched by any other stage of the lifecycle. For these reason the human fetus is particularly susceptible not only to organizing influences, but also to pathogenic disorganizing influences. Growing evidence suggests that exposure to prenatal adversity leads to neurological changes that underlie lifetime risks for mental illness. Beginning early in gestation, males and females show differential developmental trajectories and responses to stress. It is likely that sex-dependent organization of neural circuits during the fetal period influences differential vulnerability to mental health problems. We consider in this review evidence that sexually dimorphic responses to early life stress are linked to two developmental disorders: affective problems (greater female prevalence) and autism spectrum disorder (greater male prevalence). Recent prospective studies illustrating the neurodevelopmental consequences of fetal exposure to stress and stress hormones for males and females are considered here. Plausible biological mechanisms including the role of the sexually differentiated placenta are discussed. We consider in this review evidence that sexually dimorphic responses to early life stress are linked to two sets of developmental disorders: affective problems (greater female prevalence) and autism spectrum disorders (greater male prevalence). PMID:25038479

  18. A sexually dimorphic corolla appendage affects pollen removal and floral longevity in gynodioecious Cyananthus delavayi (Campanulaceae).

    PubMed

    Niu, Yang; Zhang, Zhi-Qiang; Liu, Chang-Qiu; Li, Zhi-Min; Sun, Hang

    2015-01-01

    The floral traits of bisexual flowers may evolve in response to selection on both male and female functions, but the relative importance of selection associated with each of these two aspects is poorly resolved. Sexually dimorphic traits in plants with unisexual flowers may reflect gender-specific selection, providing opportunities for gaining an increased understanding of the evolution of specific floral traits. We examined sexually dimorphic patterns of floral traits in perfect and female flowers of the gynodioecious species Cyananthus delavayi. A special corolla appendage, the throat hair, was investigated experimentally to examine its influences on male and female function. We found that perfect flowers have larger corollas and much longer throat hairs than female flowers, while female ones have much exerted stigmas. The presence of throat hairs prolonged the duration of pollen presentation by restricting the amount of pollen removed by pollen-collecting bees during each visit. Floral longevity was negatively related to the rate of pollen removal. When pollen removal rate was limited in perfect flowers, the duration of the female phases diminished with the increased male phase duration. There was a weak negative correlation between throat hair length and seed number per fruit in female flowers, but this correlation was not significant in perfect flowers. These results suggest that throat hairs may enhance male function in terms of prolonged pollen presentation. However, throat hairs have no obvious effect on female function in terms of seed number per fruit. The marked sexual dimorphism of this corolla appendage in C. delavayi is likely to have evolved and been maintained by gender-specific selection. PMID:25603479

  19. Proximate causes of sexual size dimorphism in horseshoe crabs (Limulus Polyphemus) of the Delaware Bay

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Smith, D.R.; Mandt, M.T.; Macdonald, P.D.M.

    2009-01-01

    The unresolved status of the proximate cause for sexual size dimorphism in horseshoe crabs has practical consequence, because harvest recommendations rely on assumptions about sex-specific growth and maturity. We propose and evaluate competing hypotheses for the proximate cause of sexual size dimorphism in horseshoe crabs (Limulus polyphemus) by comparing size and estimated age frequencies from spring-captured juveniles (n = 9,075) and adults (n = 36,274) to predictions from the competing hypotheses. We found that the number of identifiable juvenile size distributions was greater for females than males and the probability of remaining a juvenile was higher for females than males among older juveniles. These findings are consistent with males maturing earlier than females. Molt increments and mean sizes were similar for male and female juveniles, which is not consistent with differential growth. Among adults, one size distribution accounted for ???90% of females regardless of carapace wear. Also, size ratio of adult females to males was 1.26, and size ratio of the largest adult to largest juvenile female was 1.28. These observations are not consistent with females continuing to molt as adults. Differential-maturity is the most parsimonious explanation for sexual size dimorphism in Delaware Bay horseshoe crabs. In addition, because of a low frequency of juvenile females >195 mm relative to adult females and male-biased sex ratios starting at 105 mm, we hypothesize that females, more than males, migrate as older juveniles and mature in the ocean. Management implications include that (1) minimum size limits, as previously suggested, would not allocate harvest to older adults as intended because size does not indicate age among adult horseshoe crabs in the Delaware Bay population, and (2) the Shuster Horseshoe Crab Reserve, which has reduced harvest on the continental shelf, could be protecting older juveniles and newly mature females from harvest prior to their first

  20. A Sexually Dimorphic Corolla Appendage Affects Pollen Removal and Floral Longevity in Gynodioecious Cyananthus delavayi (Campanulaceae)

    PubMed Central

    Niu, Yang; Zhang, Zhi-Qiang; Liu, Chang-Qiu; Li, Zhi-Min; Sun, Hang

    2015-01-01

    The floral traits of bisexual flowers may evolve in response to selection on both male and female functions, but the relative importance of selection associated with each of these two aspects is poorly resolved. Sexually dimorphic traits in plants with unisexual flowers may reflect gender-specific selection, providing opportunities for gaining an increased understanding of the evolution of specific floral traits. We examined sexually dimorphic patterns of floral traits in perfect and female flowers of the gynodioecious species Cyananthus delavayi. A special corolla appendage, the throat hair, was investigated experimentally to examine its influences on male and female function. We found that perfect flowers have larger corollas and much longer throat hairs than female flowers, while female ones have much exerted stigmas. The presence of throat hairs prolonged the duration of pollen presentation by restricting the amount of pollen removed by pollen-collecting bees during each visit. Floral longevity was negatively related to the rate of pollen removal. When pollen removal rate was limited in perfect flowers, the duration of the female phases diminished with the increased male phase duration. There was a weak negative correlation between throat hair length and seed number per fruit in female flowers, but this correlation was not significant in perfect flowers. These results suggest that throat hairs may enhance male function in terms of prolonged pollen presentation. However, throat hairs have no obvious effect on female function in terms of seed number per fruit. The marked sexual dimorphism of this corolla appendage in C. delavayi is likely to have evolved and been maintained by gender-specific selection. PMID:25603479

  1. Investigation of sexual dimorphisms through mouse models and hormone/hormone-disruptor treatments.

    PubMed

    Ipulan, Lerrie Ann; Raga, Dennis; Suzuki, Kentaro; Murashima, Aki; Matsumaru, Daisuke; Cunha, Gerald; Yamada, Gen

    2016-01-01

    Sexual dimorphism in mouse reproductive tissues is observable in adult, post-natal, and embryonic stages. The development of sexually dimorphic tissues starts with an ambisexual structure. It is followed by sex-specific organogenesis as guided by different signaling pathways that occur from late embryonic stages. The measurement of the anogenital distance (AGD), and the observation of the external genitalia are practical ways to distinguish male and female pups at birth and thereafter. Careful observation of the morphological or histological features and the molecular signatures of the external genitalia and perineum enable identification of sex or feminization/masculinization of embryos. Aberrations in hormone signaling via castration or treatment with hormones or hormone disruptors result in dysmorphogenesis of reproductive tissues. Several hormone disruptors have been used to modulate different aspects of hormone action through competitive inhibition and exogenous hormone treatment. Concomitantly, the vast advancement of conditional mutant mouse analysis leads to the frequent utilization of Cre recombination technology in the study of reproductive/urogenital tissue development. Mouse Cre-lines that are tissue-specific and cell-specific are also effective tools in identifying the molecular mechanisms during sexually dimorphic development. Cre-lines applicable to different cell populations in the prostate, seminal vesicles, testis and ovaries, and mammary glands are currently being utilized. In the external genitalia and perineum, Cre lines that examine the signaling pathways of cells of endodermal, ectodermal, and mesenchymal origin reveal the roles of these tissues in the development of the external genitalia. The interaction of hormones and growth factors can be examined further through a variety of techniques available for researchers. Such cumulative information about various technologies is summarized. PMID:26651426

  2. Sexual dimorphism of stress response and immune/ inflammatory reaction: the corticotropin releasing hormone perspective

    PubMed Central

    Vamvakopoulos, Nicholas V.

    1995-01-01

    This review higlghts key aspects of corticotropin releasing hormone (CRH) biology of potential relevance to the sexual dimorphism of the stress response and immune/inflammatory reaction, and introduces two important new concepts based on the regulatory potential of the human (h) CRH gene: (1) a proposed mechanism to account for the tissue-specific antithetical responses of hCRH gene expression to glucocorticolds, that may also explain the frequently observed antithetical effects of chronic glucocorticoid administration in clinical practice and (2) a heuristic diagram to illustrate the proposed modulation of the stress response and immune/ inflammatory reaction by steroid hormones, from the perspective of the CRH system. PMID:18475634

  3. Selection in a fluctuating environment and the evolution of sexual dimorphism in the seed beetle Callosobruchus maculatus.

    PubMed

    Hallsson, L R; Björklund, M

    2012-08-01

    Temperature changes in the environment, which realistically include environmental fluctuations, can create both plastic and evolutionary responses of traits. Sexes might differ in either or both of these responses for homologous traits, which in turn has consequences for sexual dimorphism and its evolution. Here, we investigate both immediate changes in and the evolution of sexual dimorphism in response to a changing environment (with and without fluctuations) using the seed beetle Callosobruchus maculatus. We investigate sex differences in plasticity and also the genetic architecture of body mass and developmental time dimorphism to test two existing hypotheses on sex differences in plasticity (adaptive canalization hypothesis and condition dependence hypothesis). We found a decreased sexual size dimorphism in higher temperature and that females responded more plastically than males, supporting the condition dependence hypothesis. However, selection in a fluctuating environment altered sex-specific patterns of genetic and environmental variation, indicating support for the adaptive canalization hypothesis. Genetic correlations between sexes (r(MF) ) were affected by fluctuating selection, suggesting facilitated independent evolution of the sexes. Thus, the selective past of a population is highly important for the understanding of the evolutionary dynamics of sexual dimorphism. PMID:22594940

  4. Development and sexual dimorphism of the pituitary gland

    PubMed Central

    MacMaster, Frank P.; Keshavan, Matcheri; Mirza, Yousha; Carrey, Normand; Upadhyaya, Ameet R.; El-Sheikh, Rhonda; Buhagiar, Christian J; Taormina, S. Preeya; Boyd, Courtney; Lynch, Michelle; Rose, Michelle; Ivey, Jennifer; Moore, Gregory J.; Rosenberg, David R.

    2007-01-01

    The pituitary gland plays a central role in sexual development and brain function. Therefore, we examined the effect of age and gender on pituitary volume in a large sample of healthy children and adults. Volumetric magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was conducted in one hundred and fifty four (77 males and 77 females) healthy participants. Males were between the ages of 7 to 35 years (16.91 ± 5.89 years) and females were 7 to 35 years of age (16.75 ± 5.75 years). Subjects were divided into subgroups of age (7 to 9, 10 to 13, 14 to 17, 18 to 21, 22 and older) and sex (male/female). Pituitary gland volume differed between sexes when comparing the age groups (F = 3.55, df = 2, 143, p = 0.03). Females demonstrated larger pituitary glands than males in the age 14 to 17 year old groups (p = 0.04). Young (19 years and under) and old (20 years and older) females demonstrated a correlation between pituitary volume and age. Males did not show this relationship. These findings provide additional evidence for gender differences in the normative anatomy of the pituitary and may have relevance for the study of various childhood onset neuropsychiatric disorders in which pituitary dysfunction has been implicated. PMID:17174342

  5. Development and sexual dimorphism of the pituitary gland.

    PubMed

    MacMaster, Frank P; Keshavan, Matcheri; Mirza, Yousha; Carrey, Normand; Upadhyaya, Ameet R; El-Sheikh, Rhonda; Buhagiar, Christian J; Taormina, S Preeya; Boyd, Courtney; Lynch, Michelle; Rose, Michelle; Ivey, Jennifer; Moore, Gregory J; Rosenberg, David R

    2007-02-13

    The pituitary gland plays a central role in sexual development and brain function. Therefore, we examined the effect of age and gender on pituitary volume in a large sample of healthy children and adults. Volumetric magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was conducted in one hundred and fifty four (77 males and 77 females) healthy participants. Males were between the ages of 7 to 35 years (16.91+/-5.89 years) and females were 7 to 35 years of age (16.75+/-5.75 years). Subjects were divided into subgroups of age (7 to 9, 10 to 13, 14 to 17, 18 to 21, 22 and older) and sex (male/female). Pituitary gland volume differed between sexes when comparing the age groups (F=3.55, df=2, 143, p=0.03). Females demonstrated larger pituitary glands than males in the age 14 to 17 year old groups (p=0.04). Young (19 years and under) and old (20 years and older) females demonstrated a correlation between pituitary volume and age. Males did not show this relationship. These findings provide additional evidence for gender differences in the normative anatomy of the pituitary and may have relevance for the study of various childhood onset neuropsychiatric disorders in which pituitary dysfunction has been implicated. PMID:17174342

  6. Fungal Infection Induces Sex-Specific Transcriptional Changes and Alters Sexual Dimorphism in the Dioecious Plant Silene latifolia

    PubMed Central

    Zemp, Niklaus; Tavares, Raquel; Widmer, Alex

    2015-01-01

    Sexual dimorphism, including differences in morphology, behavior and physiology between females and males, is widespread in animals and plants and is shaped by gene expression differences between the sexes. Such expression differences may also underlie sex-specific responses of hosts to pathogen infections, most notably when pathogens induce partial sex reversal in infected hosts. The genetic changes associated with sex-specific responses to pathogen infections on the one hand, and sexual dimorphism on the other hand, remain poorly understood. The dioecious White Campion (Silene latifolia) displays sexual dimorphism in floral traits and infection with the smut fungus Micobrotryum lychnidis-dioicae induces a partial sex reversal in females. We find strong sex-specific responses to pathogen infection and reduced sexual dimorphism in infected S. latifolia. This provides a direct link between pathogen-mediated changes in sex-biased gene expression and altered sexual dimorphism in the host. Expression changes following infection affected mainly genes with male-biased expression in healthy plants. In females, these genes were up-regulated, leading to a masculinization of the transcriptome. In contrast, infection in males was associated with down-regulation of these genes, leading to a demasculinization of the transcriptome. To a lesser extent, genes with female-biased expression in healthy plants were also affected in opposite directions in the two sexes. These genes were overall down-regulated in females and up-regulated in males, causing, respectively, a defeminization in infected females and a feminization of the transcriptome in infected males. Our results reveal strong sex-specific responses to pathogen infection in a dioecious plant and provide a link between pathogen-induced changes in sex-biased gene expression and sexual dimorphism. PMID:26448481

  7. Fungal Infection Induces Sex-Specific Transcriptional Changes and Alters Sexual Dimorphism in the Dioecious Plant Silene latifolia.

    PubMed

    Zemp, Niklaus; Tavares, Raquel; Widmer, Alex

    2015-10-01

    Sexual dimorphism, including differences in morphology, behavior and physiology between females and males, is widespread in animals and plants and is shaped by gene expression differences between the sexes. Such expression differences may also underlie sex-specific responses of hosts to pathogen infections, most notably when pathogens induce partial sex reversal in infected hosts. The genetic changes associated with sex-specific responses to pathogen infections on the one hand, and sexual dimorphism on the other hand, remain poorly understood. The dioecious White Campion (Silene latifolia) displays sexual dimorphism in floral traits and infection with the smut fungus Micobrotryum lychnidis-dioicae induces a partial sex reversal in females. We find strong sex-specific responses to pathogen infection and reduced sexual dimorphism in infected S. latifolia. This provides a direct link between pathogen-mediated changes in sex-biased gene expression and altered sexual dimorphism in the host. Expression changes following infection affected mainly genes with male-biased expression in healthy plants. In females, these genes were up-regulated, leading to a masculinization of the transcriptome. In contrast, infection in males was associated with down-regulation of these genes, leading to a demasculinization of the transcriptome. To a lesser extent, genes with female-biased expression in healthy plants were also affected in opposite directions in the two sexes. These genes were overall down-regulated in females and up-regulated in males, causing, respectively, a defeminization in infected females and a feminization of the transcriptome in infected males. Our results reveal strong sex-specific responses to pathogen infection in a dioecious plant and provide a link between pathogen-induced changes in sex-biased gene expression and sexual dimorphism. PMID:26448481

  8. Disentangling the contribution of sexual selection and ecology to the evolution of size dimorphism in pinnipeds.

    PubMed

    Krüger, Oliver; Wolf, Jochen B W; Jonker, Rudy M; Hoffman, Joseph I; Trillmich, Fritz

    2014-05-01

    The positive relationship between sexual size dimorphism (SSD) and harem size across pinnipeds is often cited as a textbook example of sexual selection. It assumes that female aggregation selected for large male size via male-male competition. Yet, it is also conceivable that SSD evolved prior to polygyny due to ecological forces. We analyzed 11 life-history traits in 35 pinniped species to determine their coevolutionary dynamics and infer their most likely evolutionary trajectories contrasting these two hypotheses. We find support for SSD having evolved prior to changes in the mating system, either as a consequence of niche partitioning during aquatic foraging or in combination with sexual selection on males to enforce copulations on females. Only subsequently did polygyny evolve, leading to further coevolution as the strength of sexual selection intensified. Evolutionary sequence analyses suggest a polar origin of pinnipeds and indicate that SSD and polygyny are intrinsically linked to a suite of ecological and life-history traits. Overall, this study calls for the inclusion of ecological variables when studying sexual selection and argues for caution when assuming causality between coevolving traits. It provides novel insights into the role of sexual selection for the coevolutionary dynamics of SSD and mating system. PMID:24475921

  9. Morphometric analysis of pelvic sexual dimorphism in a contemporary Western Australian population.

    PubMed

    Franklin, Daniel; Cardini, Andrea; Flavel, Ambika; Marks, Murray K

    2014-09-01

    Requisite to routine casework involving unidentified skeletal remains is the formulation of an accurate biological profile, including sex estimation. Choice of method(s) is invariably related to preservation and by association, available bones. It is vital that the method applied affords statistical quantification of accuracy rates and predictive confidence so that evidentiary requirements for legal submission are satisfied. Achieving the latter necessitates the application of contemporary population-specific standards. This study examines skeletal pelvic dimorphism in contemporary Western Australian individuals to quantify the accuracy of using pelvic measurements to estimate sex and to formulate a series of morphometric standards. The sample comprises pelvic multi-slice computer tomography (MSCT) scans from 200 male and 200 female adults. Following 3D rendering, the 3D coordinates of 24 landmarks are acquired using OsiriX® (v.4.1.1) with 12 inter-landmark linear measurements and two angles acquired using MorphDb. Measurements are analysed using basic descriptive statistics and discriminant functions analyses employing jackknife validation of classification results. All except two linear measurements are dimorphic with sex differences explaining up to 65 % of sample variance. Transverse pelvic outlet and subpubic angle contribute most significantly to sex discrimination with accuracy rates between 100 % (complete pelvis-10 variables) and 81.2 % (ischial length). This study represents the initial forensic research into pelvic sexual dimorphism in a Western Australian population. Given these methods, we conclude that this highly dimorphic bone can be used to classify sex with a high degree of expected accuracy. PMID:24789357

  10. Sexual Dimorphism in White Matter Developmental Trajectories Using Tract-Based Spatial Statistics

    PubMed Central

    Clayden, Jonathan D.; Jentschke, Sebastian; Muñoz, Monica; Cooper, Janine M.; Chadwick, Martin J.; Banks, Tina; Vargha-Khadem, Faraneh; Clark, Christopher A.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Increasing evidence is emerging for sexual dimorphism in the trajectory of white matter development in children assessed using volumetric magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and more recently diffusion MRI. Recent studies using diffusion MRI have examined cohorts with a wide age range (typically between 5 and 30 years) showing focal regions of differential diffusivity and fractional anisotropy (FA) and have implicated puberty as a possible contributory factor. To further investigate possible dimorphic trajectories in a young cohort, presumably closer to the expected onset of puberty, we used tract-based spatial statistics to investigate diffusion metrics. The cohort consisted of 23 males and 30 females between the ages of 8 and 16 years. Differences in diffusion metrics were corrected for age, total brain volume, and full scale IQ. In contrast to previous studies showing focal differences between males and females, widespread sexually dimorphic trajectories in structural white matter development were observed. These differences were characterized by more advanced development in females compared to males indicated by lower mean diffusivity, radial and axial diffusivity, and higher FA in females. This difference appeared to be larger at lower ages (8–9 years) with diffusion measures from males and females tending to converge between 10 and 14 years of age. Males showed a steeper slope for age-diffusion metric correlations compared to females, who either did not correlate with age or correlated in fewer regions. Further studies are now warranted to determine the role of hormones on the observed differences, particularly in 8–9-year-old children. PMID:26446207

  11. Sexually dimorphic morphology and swimming performance relationships in wild-type zebrafish Danio rerio.

    PubMed

    Conradsen, C; McGuigan, K

    2015-11-01

    This study compared prolonged swimming performance (Ucrit ) between male and female Danio rerio, and characterized how body shape was associated with this performance measure in each sex. When swimming in small (n = 6) mixed-sex groups at 28 °C, males swam, on average, over 10 cm s(-1) faster than females despite being significantly smaller. Body shape was sexually dimorphic, with males and females exhibiting small, but statistically significant differences in most aspects of body shape. Body shape explained 18 and 43% of the variation in Ucrit among males and females. In general, effects of body shape on swimming performance appeared to be sex limited, whereby different aspects of body shape affected performance in each sex, although the contribution of the distance between pelvic and anal fins to swimming performance was weakly sexually antagonistic. PMID:26416508

  12. Molecular Phylogeny of Echiuran Worms (Phylum: Annelida) Reveals Evolutionary Pattern of Feeding Mode and Sexual Dimorphism

    PubMed Central

    Goto, Ryutaro; Okamoto, Tomoko; Ishikawa, Hiroshi; Hamamura, Yoichi; Kato, Makoto

    2013-01-01

    The Echiura, or spoon worms, are a group of marine worms, most of which live in burrows in soft sediments. This annelid-like animal group was once considered as a separate phylum because of the absence of segmentation, although recent molecular analyses have placed it within the annelids. In this study, we elucidate the interfamily relationships of echiuran worms and their evolutionary pattern of feeding mode and sexual dimorphism, by performing molecular phylogenetic analyses using four genes (18S, 28S, H3, and COI) of representatives of all extant echiuran families. Our results suggest that Echiura is monophyletic and comprises two unexpected groups: [Echiuridae+Urechidae+Thalassematidae] and [Bonelliidae+Ikedidae]. This grouping agrees with the presence/absence of marked sexual dimorphism involving dwarf males and the paired/non-paired configuration of the gonoducts (genital sacs). Furthermore, the data supports the sister group relationship of Echiuridae and Urechidae. These two families share the character of having anal chaetae rings around the posterior trunk as a synapomorphy. The analyses also suggest that deposit feeding is a basal feeding mode in echiurans and that filter feeding originated once in the common ancestor of Urechidae. Overall, our results contradict the currently accepted order-level classification, especially in that Echiuroinea is polyphyletic, and provide novel insights into the evolution of echiuran worms. PMID:23457618

  13. Antenatal maternal protein deprivation: sexually dimorphic programming of the pancreatic renin-angiotensin system.

    PubMed

    Goyal, Ravi; Wong, Christine; Van Wickle, Jonathan; Longo, Lawrence D

    2013-06-01

    As an underlying mechanism of antenatal maternal malnutrition-induced type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), alterations in the local pancreatic renin-angiotensin system (RAS) may play a significant role. We tested the hypothesis that antenatal maternal protein deprivation (AMPD) leads to increased activity of the local pancreatic RAS, with associated hyperglycemia in the adult progeny. Mice dams were fed either control or 50% protein restricted diet (AMPD) starting one week before conception and maintained during complete gestation. Our results demonstrate low birth weight (control 1.5 ± 0.03 and AMPD 1.3 ± 0.03) and sexually dimorphic programming of the pancreatic RAS, with development of hyperglycemia only in the female mice offspring as a consequence of AMPD. No significant difference in serum insulin concentration was observed; however, AMPD was associated with increased mRNA and protein expression of angiotensinogen, renin and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE)-1 in male and female offspring. Of importance, mRNA and protein expression of ACE 2 and angiotensin II receptors was up-regulated only in the male offspring, as a consequence of AMPD. We conclude that sexually dimorphic programming of the pancreatic RAS expression is associated with AMPD diet-mediated development of hyperglycemia. PMID:22898440

  14. Determination of sexual dimorphism via maxillary first molar teeth in Himachali population

    PubMed Central

    Singla, Swati; Gupta, Rakhi; Puri, Abhiney; Bansal, Sucheta; Singla, Smita; Nangia, Rajat

    2015-01-01

    Context: Sex determination of skeletal remains forms part of archaeological and medicolegal examinations. It is an aspect of forensic odontology. Forensic odontology primarily deals with identification, based on recognition of unique features present in an individual's dental structures. Correct sex determination limits the pool of missing persons to just one half of the population. Aim of Study: Purpose of this study is to evaluate the existence of sexual dimorphism and variation in left and right maxillary first molars using bucco-lingual and mesio-distal dimensions in population of Sirmour District, H.P. Materials and Methods: Base sample comprised 100 subjects (50 males and 50 females) of an age group ranging from 17 to 25 years. Statistical Analysis Used: Unpaired t-test. Results: It was observed that the comparison of mean values of bucco-lingual and mesio-distal parameters showed highly statistically significant differences between males and females, measured both intraorally and on study casts. There were no significant differences between the mean values of both the parameters on the left side as compared to right side. Conclusion: The study concludes that sexual dimorphism is population specific. Among Himachali people, mesio-distal dimensions and bucco-lingual dimensions of first molar can aid in sex determination. PMID:26005295

  15. Sexually dimorphic, developmental, and chronobiological behavioral profiles of a mouse mania model.

    PubMed

    Saul, Michael C; Stevenson, Sharon A; Gammie, Stephen C

    2013-01-01

    Bipolar disorders are heritable psychiatric conditions often abstracted by separate animal models for mania and depression. The principal mania models involve transgenic manipulations or treatment with stimulants. An additional approach involves analysis of naturally occurring mania models including an inbred strain our lab has recently characterized, the Madison (MSN) mouse strain. These mice show a suite of behavioral and neural genetic alterations analogous to manic aspects of bipolar disorders. In the current study, we extended the MSN strain's behavioral phenotype in new directions by examining in-cage locomotor activity. We found that MSN activity presentation is sexually dimorphic, with MSN females showing higher in-cage activity than MSN males. When investigating development, we found that MSN mice display stable locomotor hyperactivity already observable when first assayed at 28 days postnatal. Using continuous monitoring and analysis for 1 month, we did not find evidence of spontaneous bipolarism in MSN mice. However, we did find that the MSN strain displayed an altered diurnal activity profile, getting up earlier and going to sleep earlier than control mice. Long photoperiods were associated with increased in-cage activity in MSN, but not in the control strain. The results of these experiments reinforce the face validity of the MSN strain as a complex mania model, adding sexual dimorphism, an altered diurnal activity profile, and seasonality to the suite of interesting dispositional phenomena related to mania seen in MSN mice. PMID:23967278

  16. Sexual dimorphism in scent substances and cuticular lipids of adult Papilio protenor butterflies.

    PubMed

    Omura, Hisashi; Yanai, Nanako; Honda, Keiichi

    2012-01-01

    Adults of Papilio protenor demetrius emit a faint odour; the male odour is notably stronger than that of the females. The extracts of whole individuals of each sex comprised 53 compounds regarded as cuticular lipid components, of which the 17 major compounds were straight-chain alkanes and alkenes with 23-31 carbon atoms, higher fatty acids, long-chain aliphatic ketones, squalene, and cholesterol. However, highly volatile compounds were not detected in the whole individual extracts. Eight of the 17 major compounds showed a significant sex difference in relative abundance per individual. Principal component analysis, using the major compounds as variables, revealed a marked sexual dimorphism in the chemical composition of cuticular lipids. From the extracts of 10 dissected individuals of each sex, 21 highly volatile compounds were identified in amounts of less than 200 ng/individual. Among them, linalool and 2,3-butanediol showed a significantly larger amount in males than in females, indicating that the adult odour is also sexually dimorphic. Moreover, both sexes shared several odoriferous compounds, such as heptanal, nonanal, methyl salicylate, benzyl alcohol, and benzoic acid. The faint odour of P. protenor adults, perceivable by the human nose, appears to originate from these volatile compounds. PMID:22888540

  17. Sexual dimorphism in lung function responses to acute influenza A infection

    PubMed Central

    Larcombe, Alexander N.; Foong, Rachel E.; Bozanich, Elizabeth M.; Berry, Luke J.; Garratt, Luke W.; Gualano, Rosa C.; Jones, Jessica E.; Dousha, Lovisa F.; Zosky, Graeme R.; Sly, Peter D.

    2011-01-01

    Please cite this paper as: Larcombe et al. (2011) Sexual dimorphism in lung function responses to acute influenza A infection. Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses 5(5), 334–342. Background  Males are generally more susceptible to respiratory infections; however, there are few data on the physiological responses to such infections in males and females. Objectives  To determine whether sexual dimorphism exists in the physiological/inflammatory responses of weanling and adult BALB/c mice to influenza. Methods  Weanling and adult mice of both sexes were inoculated with influenza A or appropriate control solution. Respiratory mechanics, responsiveness to methacholine (MCh), viral titre and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) cellular inflammation/cytokines were measured 4 (acute) and 21 (resolution) days post‐inoculation. Results  Acute infection impaired lung function and induced hyperresponsiveness and cellular inflammation in both sexes at both ages. Males and females responded differently with female mice developing greater abnormalities in tissue damping and elastance and greater MCh responsiveness at both ages. BAL inflammation, cytokines and lung viral titres were similar between the sexes. At resolution, all parameters had returned to baseline levels in adults and weanling males; however, female weanlings had persisting hyperresponsiveness. Conclusions  We identified significant differences in the physiological responses of male and female mice to infection with influenza A, which occurred in the absence of variation in viral titre and cellular inflammation. PMID:21668688

  18. Sexually dimorphic patterns of space use throughout ontogeny in the spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Boydston, E.E.; Kapheim, K.M.; Van Horn, R. C.; Smale, L.; Holekamp, K.E.

    2005-01-01

    Observational and telemetry data were used in a geographic information system database to document the ontogenetic development of sexually dimorphic patterns of space use among free-living spotted hyenas Crocuta crocuta in Kenya. No measures of space use were sexually dimorphic among den-dwelling cubs, nor were sex differences apparent among hyenas that had ceased using dens for shelter until these animals were c. 30 months of age. Significant sex differences emerged late in the third year of life, and persisted throughout the remainder of the life span; males were found farther from the geographic centre of the natal territory than were females, and the mean size of individual 95% utility distributions was larger for males than females. Most dispersal events by radio-collared males were preceded by a series of exploratory excursions outside the natal territory. All collared males dispersed, but no collared females did so. Most dispersing males moved only one or two home ranges away at dispersal, roughly 8-10 km distant from the natal territory, before settling in a new social group. ?? 2005 The Zoological Society of London.

  19. Allometry of sexual size dimorphism in dioecious plants: do plants obey Rensch's rule?

    PubMed

    Kavanagh, P H; Lehnebach, C A; Shea, M J; Burns, K C

    2011-11-01

    Rensch's rule refers to a pattern in sexual size dimorphism (SSD) in which SSD decreases with body size when females are the larger sex and increases with body size when males are the larger sex. Many animal taxa conform to Rensch's rule, but it has yet to be investigated in plants. Using herbarium collections from New Zealand, we characterized the size of leaves and stems of 297 individuals from 38 dioecious plant species belonging to three distantly related phylogenetic lineages. Statistical comparisons of leaf sizes between males and females showed evidence for Rensch's rule in two of the three lineages, indicating SSD decreases with leaf size when females produce larger leaves and increases with leaf size when males produce larger leaves. A similar pattern in SSD was observed for stem sizes. However, in this instance, females of small-stemmed species produced much larger stems than did males, but as stem sizes increased, SSD often disappeared. We hypothesize that sexual dimorphism in stem sizes results from selection for larger stems in females, which must provide mechanical support for seeds, fruits, and dispersal vectors, and that scaling relationships in leaf sizes result from correlated evolution with stem sizes. The overall results suggest that selection for larger female stem sizes to support the weight of offspring can give rise to Rensch's rule in dioecious plants. PMID:22030729

  20. A possible instance of sexual dimorphism in the tails of two oviraptorosaur dinosaurs

    PubMed Central

    IV, W. Scott Persons; Funston, Gregory F.; Currie, Philip J.; Norell, Mark A.

    2015-01-01

    The hypothesis that oviraptorosaurs used tail-feather displays in courtship behavior previously predicted that oviraptorosaurs would be found to display sexually dimorphic caudal osteology. MPC-D 100/1002 and MPC-D 100/1127 are two specimens of the oviraptorosaur Khaan mckennai. Although similar in absolute size and in virtually all other anatomical details, the anterior haemal spines of MPC-D 100/1002 exceed those of MPC-D 100/1127 in ventral depth and develop a hitherto unreported “spearhead” shape. This dissimilarity cannot be readily explained as pathologic and is too extreme to be reasonably attributed to the amount of individual variation expected among con-specifics. Instead, this discrepancy in haemal spine morphology may be attributable to sexual dimorphism. The haemal spine form of MPC-D 100/1002 offers greater surface area for caudal muscle insertions. On this basis, MPC-D 100/1002 is regarded as most probably male, and MPC-D 100/1127 is regarded as most probably female. PMID:25824625

  1. Sexual Dimorphism and Allometric Effects Associated With the Wing Shape of Seven Moth Species of Sphingidae (Lepidoptera: Bombycoidea).

    PubMed

    de Camargo, Willian Rogers Ferreira; de Camargo, Nícholas Ferreira; Corrêa, Danilo do Carmo Vieira; de Camargo, Amabílio J Aires; Diniz, Ivone Rezende

    2015-01-01

    Sexual dimorphism is a pronounced pattern of intraspecific variation in Lepidoptera. However, moths of the family Sphingidae (Lepidoptera: Bombycoidea) are considered exceptions to this rule. We used geometric morphometric techniques to detect shape and size sexual dimorphism in the fore and hindwings of seven hawkmoth species. The shape variables produced were then subjected to a discriminant analysis. The allometric effects were measured with a simple regression between the canonical variables and the centroid size. We also used the normalized residuals to assess the nonallometric component of shape variation with a t-test. The deformations in wing shape between sexes per species were assessed with a regression between the nonreduced shape variables and the residuals. We found sexual dimorphism in both wings in all analyzed species, and that the allometric effects were responsible for much of the wing shape variation between the sexes. However, when we removed the size effects, we observed shape sexual dimorphism. It is very common for females to be larger than males in Lepidoptera, so it is expected that the shape of structures such as wings suffers deformations in order to preserve their function. However, sources of variation other than allometry could be a reflection of different reproductive flight behavior (long flights in search for sexual mates in males, and flight in search for host plants in females). PMID:26206895

  2. Sexual Dimorphism and Allometric Effects Associated With the Wing Shape of Seven Moth Species of Sphingidae (Lepidoptera: Bombycoidea)

    PubMed Central

    de Camargo, Nícholas Ferreira; Corrêa, Danilo do Carmo Vieira; de Camargo, Amabílio J. Aires; Diniz, Ivone Rezende

    2015-01-01

    Sexual dimorphism is a pronounced pattern of intraspecific variation in Lepidoptera. However, moths of the family Sphingidae (Lepidoptera: Bombycoidea) are considered exceptions to this rule. We used geometric morphometric techniques to detect shape and size sexual dimorphism in the fore and hindwings of seven hawkmoth species. The shape variables produced were then subjected to a discriminant analysis. The allometric effects were measured with a simple regression between the canonical variables and the centroid size. We also used the normalized residuals to assess the nonallometric component of shape variation with a t-test. The deformations in wing shape between sexes per species were assessed with a regression between the nonreduced shape variables and the residuals. We found sexual dimorphism in both wings in all analyzed species, and that the allometric effects were responsible for much of the wing shape variation between the sexes. However, when we removed the size effects, we observed shape sexual dimorphism. It is very common for females to be larger than males in Lepidoptera, so it is expected that the shape of structures such as wings suffers deformations in order to preserve their function. However, sources of variation other than allometry could be a reflection of different reproductive flight behavior (long flights in search for sexual mates in males, and flight in search for host plants in females). PMID:26206895

  3. Sex differences in lizard escape decisions vary with latitude, but not sexual dimorphism.

    PubMed

    Samia, Diogo S M; Møller, Anders Pape; Blumstein, Daniel T; Stankowich, Theodore; Cooper, William E

    2015-04-22

    Sexual selection is a powerful evolutionary mechanism that has shaped the physiology, behaviour and morphology of the sexes to the extent that it can reduce viability while promoting traits that enhance reproductive success. Predation is one of the underlying mechanisms accounting for viability costs of sexual displays. Therefore, we should expect that individuals of the two sexes adjust their anti-predator behaviour in response to changes in predation risk. We conducted a meta-analysis of 28 studies (42 species) of sex differences in risk-taking behaviour in lizards and tested whether these differences could be explained by sexual dichromatism, by sexual size dimorphism or by latitude. Latitude was the best predictor of the interspecific heterogeneity in sex-specific behaviour. Males did not change their escape behaviour with latitude, whereas females had increasingly reduced wariness at higher latitudes. We hypothesize that this sex difference in risk-taking behaviour is linked to sex-specific environmental constraints that more strongly affect the reproductive effort of females than males. This novel latitudinal effect on sex-specific anti-predator behaviour has important implications for responses to climate change and for the relative roles of natural and sexual selection in different species. PMID:25788595

  4. Sex differences in lizard escape decisions vary with latitude, but not sexual dimorphism

    PubMed Central

    Samia, Diogo S. M.; Møller, Anders Pape; Blumstein, Daniel T.; Stankowich, Theodore; Cooper, William E.

    2015-01-01

    Sexual selection is a powerful evolutionary mechanism that has shaped the physiology, behaviour and morphology of the sexes to the extent that it can reduce viability while promoting traits that enhance reproductive success. Predation is one of the underlying mechanisms accounting for viability costs of sexual displays. Therefore, we should expect that individuals of the two sexes adjust their anti-predator behaviour in response to changes in predation risk. We conducted a meta-analysis of 28 studies (42 species) of sex differences in risk-taking behaviour in lizards and tested whether these differences could be explained by sexual dichromatism, by sexual size dimorphism or by latitude. Latitude was the best predictor of the interspecific heterogeneity in sex-specific behaviour. Males did not change their escape behaviour with latitude, whereas females had increasingly reduced wariness at higher latitudes. We hypothesize that this sex difference in risk-taking behaviour is linked to sex-specific environmental constraints that more strongly affect the reproductive effort of females than males. This novel latitudinal effect on sex-specific anti-predator behaviour has important implications for responses to climate change and for the relative roles of natural and sexual selection in different species. PMID:25788595

  5. Sexual Shape Dimorphism of the Mangrove Crab Ucides cordatus (Linnaeus, 1763) (Decapoda, Ucididae) Accessed through Geometric Morphometric

    PubMed Central

    Alencar, C. E. R. D.; Lima-Filho, P. A.; Molina, W. F.; Freire, F. A. M.

    2014-01-01

    Sexual dimorphism is often observed in Crustaceans. Considering the great diversity of this subphylum, only few reports are found in the literature and most are mainly based on traditional morphometry. The present study uses geometric morphometrics analysis to identify sexual dimorphism by shape variation in the overexploited semiterrestrial crab Ucides cordatus, species with great social and economic importance in South America. Comparative morphology analyses were performed by using the outer face of the propodus of major cheliped, dorsal and anterior region of carapace shape. Significant differences in shape between sexes were detected in these body areas. The causes of dimorphism presented in this species are not clear but, analogous to other possibly associated species, it may be inferred that the causes are with adaptations to body ability of reproductive potential (females), and of reproductive behaviour and agonistics encounters (males). Additional analyses on courtship displays and other reproductive aspects should provide better comprehension of functionality of this morphological differentiation. PMID:25383362

  6. Sexual Dimorphism in the Andromonoecious Euphorbia nicaeensis: Effects of Gender and Inflorescence Development

    PubMed Central

    Narbona, Eduardo; Ortiz, Pedro Luis; Arista, Montserrat

    2008-01-01

    Background and Aims In andromonoecious taxa with separate floral types along the inflorescence, architectural or plastic effects can simulate floral sexual dimorphism. Both the primary and secondary sexual characteristics of the cyathia of the protogynous andromonoecious species Euphorbia nicaeensis were analysed according to their sex and arrangement on the inflorescence. Methods The production of male and hermaphrodite cyathia at each inflorescence level was surveyed in two natural populations. The longevity, size, pollen production and viability, and nectar secretion of both types of cyathia were checked between inflorescence levels and between sexes at the only level at which they occur together. This sampling method makes it possible to know whether differences between cyathia types are based on sex or are attributable to inflorescence development. Key Results Male cyathia were produced predominantly at the first and second inflorescence levels, whereas at levels 3–5, the cyathia were almost exclusively hermaphrodite. Viable pollen production by male cyathia at the second inflorescence level was higher than that of hermaphrodite cyathia at the third level but, when males and hermaphrodites at the same level were compared, their pollen production was similar. Male and hermaphrodite cyathia were similar in size, irrespective of the inflorescence level, although the exclusively hermaphrodite cyathia of the last level were smaller. Both cyathium types produced similar amounts of sugar. However, male cyathia produced nectar during their whole lifespans, whereas hermaphrodites produced it exclusively during their male phase. Moreover, the nectary activity of male cyathia started earlier in the day than that of hermaphrodites. Conclusions An apparent floral dimorphism exists in the primary sexual characteristics of Euphorbia nicaeensis because differences in pollen production between cyathium types are due to theirs positions. Similarly, differences affecting most

  7. Sexually dimorphic stress and innate immunological responses of Brahman cattle following an intravenous corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) challenge

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This study was designed to characterize potential sexually dimorphic stress and immunological responses following corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH) challenge. Six female (heifers) and five male (bulls) Brahman calves (264 ± 12 days of age) were challenged with 0.5 micrograms of CRH/kg body weig...

  8. A mirccroarray analysis of sexual dimorphism of adipose tissues in high-fat-diet-induced obese mice

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Objective: A sexual dimorphism exists in body fat distribution; females deposit relatively more fat in subcutaneous/inguinal depots whereas males deposit more fat in the intra-abdominal/gonadal depot. Our objective was to systematically document depot- and sex-related differences in the accumulatio...

  9. A mircroarray analysis of sexual dimorphism of adipose tissues in high-fat-diet-induced obese mice

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A sexual dimorphism exists in body fat distribution; females deposit relatively more fat in subcutaneous/inguinal depots whereas males deposit more fat in the intra-abdominal/gonadal depot. Our objective was to systematically document depot- and sex-related differences in the accumulation of adipose...

  10. Sexual dimorphism of the internal mandibular chamber in Fayum Pliohyracidae (Mammalia)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    de Blieux, D.D.; Baumrind, M.R.; Simons, E.L.; Chatrath, P.S.; Meyer, G.E.; Attia, Y.S.

    2006-01-01

    An internal mandibular fenestra and chamber are found in many fossil hyracoids. The internal mandibular fenestra is located on the lingual surface of the mandibular corpus and opens into a chamber within the mandible. The mandibular chamber is maximally developed in late Eocene Thyrohyrax meyeri and early Oligocene Thyrohyrax domorictus from the Fayum Province of Egypt. The function of this chamber is unknown as it is not found in extant hyraxes, nor is it known to occur in any other mammal. In Thyrohyrax, this feature appears to be sexually dimorphic because it is confined to roughly one half of the specimens that otherwise cannot be separated by dental characteristics or measurements. It has been suggested that the chamber is found in females based on the presumed distribution of this character in other fossil hyracoids. Fossils from Fayum Quarry L-41, preserving the sexually dimorphic anterior dentition, show that, in Thyrohyrax meyeri and Thyrohyrax domorictus, the internal mandibular chamber is found in males. In Thyrohyrax litholagus, an internal mandibular fenestra and inflated mandibular chamber occurs in males whereas females show the variable presence of an internal mandibular fossa or fenestra but lack an expanded chamber. Other genera show differing patterns of sexual variation in which some Fayum hyracoids have an internal mandibular fenestra in both sexes but with the greatest development of the mandibular chamber occurring in males. We review functions proposed for the internal mandibular chamber and suggest that it housed a laryngeal air sac that may have had a vocal function by acting as a resonating chamber. ?? 2006 by the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology.

  11. Sexually dimorphic alterations of brain cortical dominance in rats prenatally exposed to TCDD.

    PubMed

    Zareba, Grazyna; Hojo, Rieko; Zareba, Karolina M; Watanabe, Chiho; Markowski, Vincent P; Baggs, Raymond B; Weiss, Bernard

    2002-01-01

    Sexually dimorphic patterns of cortical lateralization are documented extensively in both human and animal brains. Male rats tend to exhibit pronounced right hemisphere dominance compared with females, whereas females typically exhibit more diffuse lateralization patterns and greater left hemisphere bias compared with males. Prenatal TCDD (2,3,7,8 tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin) exposure produces demasculinization of male offspring sexual behavior. In previous studies, we showed a reversal of cortical dominance in rats after prenatal TCDD exposure on gestational day 18 (GD 18). The current study aimed to determine the nature of changes observed in rats exposed to TCDD on GD 8. In addition, locomotor activity was measured in male and female offspring on postnatal day (PND) 30, 60 and 90. Pregnant females were given, via gavage, a single dose of 0, 20, 60 or 180 ng kg(-1) TCDD on GD 8. Cortical depth measurements were taken in selected brain regions in offspring 3 months old that had been exposed to the 180 ng kg(-1) dose. Areas 2, 3, 17, 18a and 39 at bregmas -1.8, -3.8 and -5.8 were analyzed by quantifying digitized, enhanced images produced by a photomicroscope fitted with a special color camera. In both male and female offspring, cortical thicknesses in control brains exceeded those of exposed brains. In several brain areas of male offspring exposed to TCDD, right hemispheric dominance reversed to left hemispheric dominance. Female offspring brains showed a contrary move towards right hemisphere dominance. Motor activity in juvenile and mature animals did not differ among dose groups. These data demonstrate that prenatal exposure to TCDD reduces cortical thickness and alters the normal pattern of cortical asymmetry, a finding consistent with the sexually dimorphic behavioral effects induced by this agent. PMID:11920938

  12. Transcriptomic Analyses of Sexual Dimorphism of the Zebrafish Liver and the Effect of Sex Hormones

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Weiling; Xu, Hongyan; Lam, Siew Hong; Luo, Huaien; Karuturi, R. Krishna Murthy; Gong, Zhiyuan

    2013-01-01

    The liver is one of the most sex-dimorphic organs in both oviparous and viviparous animals. In order to understand the molecular basis of the difference between male and female livers, high-throughput RNA-SAGE (serial analysis of gene expression) sequencing was performed for zebrafish livers of both sexes and their transcriptomes were compared. Both sexes had abundantly expressed genes involved in translation, coagulation and lipid metabolism, consistent with the general function of the liver. For sex-biased transcripts, from in addition to the high enrichment of vitellogenin transcripts in spawning female livers, which constituted nearly 80% of total mRNA, it is apparent that the female-biased genes were mostly involved in ribosome/translation, estrogen pathway, lipid transport, etc, while the male-biased genes were enriched for oxidation reduction, carbohydrate metabolism, coagulation, protein transport and localization, etc. Sexual dimorphism on xenobiotic metabolism and anti-oxidation was also noted and it is likely that retinol x receptor (RXR) and liver x receptor (LXR) play central roles in regulating the sexual differences of lipid and cholesterol metabolisms. Consistent with high ribosomal/translational activities in the female liver, female-biased genes were significantly regulated by two important transcription factors, Myc and Mycn. In contrast, Male livers showed activation of transcription factors Ppargc1b, Hnf4a, and Stat4, which regulate lipid and glucose metabolisms and various cellular activities. The transcriptomic responses to sex hormones, 17β-estradiol (E2) or 11-keto testosterone (KT11), were also investigated in both male and female livers and we found that female livers were relatively insensitive to sex hormone disturbance, while the male livers were readily affected. E2 feminized male liver by up-regulating female-biased transcripts and down-regulating male-biased transcripts. The information obtained in this study provides comprehensive

  13. Cognitive Ecology in Hummingbirds: The Role of Sexual Dimorphism and Its Anatomical Correlates on Memory

    PubMed Central

    González-Gómez, Paulina L.; Madrid-Lopez, Natalia; Salazar, Juan E.; Suárez, Rodrigo; Razeto-Barry, Pablo; Mpodozis, Jorge; Bozinovic, Francisco; Vásquez, Rodrigo A.

    2014-01-01

    In scatter-hoarding species, several behavioral and neuroanatomical adaptations allow them to store and retrieve thousands of food items per year. Nectarivorous animals face a similar scenario having to remember quality, location and replenishment schedules of several nectar sources. In the green-backed firecrown hummingbird (Sephanoides sephanoides), males are territorial and have the ability to accurately keep track of nectar characteristics of their defended food sources. In contrast, females display an opportunistic strategy, performing rapid intrusions into males territories. In response, males behave aggressively during the non-reproductive season. In addition, females have higher energetic demands due to higher thermoregulatory costs and travel times. The natural scenario of this species led us to compared cognitive abilities and hippocampal size between males and females. Males were able to remember nectar location and renewal rates significantly better than females. However, the hippocampal formation was significantly larger in females than males. We discuss these findings in terms of sexually dimorphic use of spatial resources and variable patterns of brain dimorphisms in birds. PMID:24599049

  14. Sexual size dimorphism and allometric growth of Morelet's crocodiles in captivity.

    PubMed

    Barrios-Quiroz, Gabriel; Casas-Andreu, Gustavo; Escobedo-Galván, Armando H

    2012-03-01

    Few studies have conducted morphological analyses of crocodilians, and little information exists on differences between size-classes and sexes in Neotropical crocodilians. In this study, we measured nine morphological traits in 121 captive Morelet's crocodiles Crocodylus moreletii (81 females and 40 males). Our results revealed that individuals < 2 m total length do not exhibit sexual dimorphism in morphometric characteristics. However, for crocodiles over 2 m in length, males were significantly larger than females in terms of dorsal-cranial length, cranial width, snout width and snout-ventral length. In general, morphological traits demonstrated a strongly significant relationship with total length at the smaller size class of 150-200 cm length. However, in the highest size class of 250-300 cm length (large adult males), morphological traits were no longer significantly related with total length. Male crocodiles demonstrated allometric growth of cranial morphology with significantly greater increase in cranial width, snout width, and mid-snout width relative to total length at higher size classes. Morphological dimorphism and allometric growth may be associated with adaptive strategies for reproductive success. PMID:22379988

  15. The effects of stress on social preferences are sexually dimorphic in prairie voles.

    PubMed Central

    DeVries, A C; DeVries, M B; Taymans, S E; Carter, C S

    1996-01-01

    Prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) are monogamous rodents that form pair bonds characterized by a preference for a familiar social partner. In male prairie voles, exposure to either the stress of swimming or exogenous injections of corticosterone facilitate the development of a social preference for a female with which the male was paired after injection or swimming. Conversely, adrenalectomy inhibits partner preference formation in males and the behavioral effects of adrenalectomy are reversed by corticosterone replacement. In female prairie voles, swim stress interferes with the development of social preferences and corticosterone treatments inhibit the formation of partner preferences, while adrenalectomized females form preferences more quickly than adrenally intact controls. Because sex differences in both behavior and physiology are typically reduced in monogamous species, we initially predicted that male and female prairie voles would exhibit similar behavioral responses to corticosterone. However, our findings suggest an unanticipated sexual dimorphism in the physiological processes modulating social preferences. This dimorphic involvement of stress hormones in pair bonding provides a proximate mechanism for regulating social organization, while permitting males and females to adapt their reproductive strategies in response to environmental challenges. PMID:8876248

  16. Worldwide variation in life-span sexual dimorphism and sex-specific environmental mortality rates.

    PubMed

    Teriokhin, Anatoly T; Budilova, Elena V; Thomas, Frederic; Guegan, Jean-Francois

    2004-08-01

    In all human populations mean life span of women generally exceeds that of men, but the extent of this sexual dimorphism varies across different regions of the world. Our purpose here is to study, using global demographic and environmental data, the general tendency of this variation and local deviations from it. We used data on male and female life history traits and environmental conditions for 227 countries and autonomous territories; for each country or territory the life-span dimorphism was defined as the difference between mean life spans of women and men. The general tendency is an increase of life-span dimorphism with increasing average male-female life span; this tendency can be explained using a demographic model based on the Makeham-Gompertz equation. Roughly, the life-span dimorphism increases with the average life span because of an increase in the duration of expressing sex- and age-dependent mortality described by the second (exponential) term of the Makeham-Gompertz equation. Thus we investigated the differences in male and female environmental mortality described by the first term of the Makeham-Gompertz equation fitted to the data. The general pattern that resulted was an increase in male mortality at the highest and lowest latitudes. One plausible explanation is that specific factors tied to extreme latitudes influence males more strongly than females. In particular, alcohol consumption increases with increasing latitude and, on the contrary, infection pressures increase with decreasing latitude. This finding agrees with other observations, such as an increase in male mortality excess in Europe and Christian countries and an increase in female mortality excess in Asia and Muslim countries. An increase in the excess of female mortality may also be due to increased maternal mortality caused by an increase in fertility. However, this relation is not linear: In regions with the highest fertility (e.g., in Africa) the excess of female mortality is

  17. Sexual dimorphism in epigenomicresponses of stem cells to extreme fetal growth

    PubMed Central

    Delahaye, Fabien; Wijetunga, N. Ari; Heo, Hye J.; Tozour, Jessica N.; Zhao, Yong Mei; Greally, John M.; Einstein, Francine H.

    2014-01-01

    Extreme fetal growth is associated with increased susceptibility to a range of adult diseases through an unknown mechanism of cellular memory. We tested whether heritable epigenetic processes in long-lived CD34+ hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSPCs) showed evidence for re-programming associated with the extremes of fetal growth. Here we show that both fetal growth restriction and over-growth are associated with global shifts towards DNA hypermethylation, targeting cis-regulatory elements in proximity to genes involved in glucose homeostasis and stem cell function. We find a sexually dimorphic response; intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) is associated with substantially greater epigenetic dysregulation in males, whereas large for gestational age (LGA) growth predominantly affects females. The findings are consistent with extreme fetal growth interacting with variable fetal susceptibility to influence cellular aging and metabolic characteristics through epigenetic mechanisms, potentially generating biomarkers that could identify infants at higher risk for chronic disease later in life. PMID:25300954

  18. Sexually dimorphic myeloid inflammatory and metabolic responses to diet-induced obesity.

    PubMed

    Griffin, C; Lanzetta, N; Eter, L; Singer, K

    2016-08-01

    It is well known in clinical and animal studies that women and men have different disease risk as well as different disease physiology. Women of reproductive age are protected from metabolic and cardiovascular disease compared with postmenopausal women and men. Most murine studies are skewed toward the use of male mice to study obesity-induced metabolic dysfunction because of similar protection in female mice. We have investigated dietary obesity in a mouse model and have directly compared inflammatory responses in males and females. In this review we will summarize what is known about sex differences in diet-induced inflammation and will summarize our data on this topic. It is clear that sex differences in high-fat diet-induced inflammatory activation are due to cell intrinsic differences in hematopoietic responses to obesogenic cues, but further research is needed to understand what leads to sexually dimorphic responses. PMID:27252473

  19. Reproductive and resource benefits to large female body size in a mammal with female-biased sexual size dimorphism

    SciTech Connect

    Fokidis, H.B., T.S. Risch and T.C. Glenn

    2007-01-01

    Factors underlying the evolution of female-biased sexual size dimorphism in mammals are poorly understood. In an effort to better understand these factors we tested whether larger female southern flying squirrels, Glaucomys volans, gained reproductive advantages (larger litters or more male mates) and direct resource benefits, such as larger home ranges or access to more food (i.e. mast-producing trees). As dimorphism can vary with age in precocial breeding species, we compared females during their first reproduction and during a subsequent breeding attempt. Females were not significantly larger or heavier than males at first reproduction, but became about 7% heavier and 22% larger than males at subsequent breeding. Larger females produced larger litters and had home ranges containing a greater proportion of upland hardwood trees. Female body size was not associated with either multiple male mating or home range size, but females with larger home ranges had higher indexes of body condition. Females in precocial breeding flying squirrels initiate reproduction before sexual size dimorphism is evident, and thus, may be allocating resources to both reproduction and growth simultaneously, or delaying growth entirely. Larger females produce more pups and have access to more food resources. Thus, selection for increased female size may partly explain how female-biased sexual size dimorphism is maintained in this species.

  20. Body Size, Fecundity, and Sexual Size Dimorphism in the Neotropical Cricket Macroanaxipha macilenta (Saussure) (Orthoptera: Gryllidae).

    PubMed

    Cueva Del Castillo, R

    2015-04-01

    Body size is directly or indirectly correlated with fitness. Body size, which conveys maximal fitness, often differs between sexes. Sexual size dimorphism (SSD) evolves because body size tends to be related to reproductive success through different pathways in males and females. In general, female insects are larger than males, suggesting that natural selection for high female fecundity could be stronger than sexual selection in males. I assessed the role of body size and fecundity in SSD in the Neotropical cricket Macroanaxipha macilenta (Saussure). This species shows a SSD bias toward males. Females did not present a correlation between number of eggs and body size. Nonetheless, there were fluctuations in the number of eggs carried by females during the sampling period, and the size of females that were collected carrying eggs was larger than that of females collected with no eggs. Since mating induces vitellogenesis in some cricket species, differences in female body size might suggest male mate choice. Sexual selection in the body size of males of M. macilenta may possibly be stronger than the selection of female fecundity. Even so, no mating behavior was observed during the field observations, including audible male calling or courtship songs, yet males may produce ultrasonic calls due to their size. If female body size in M. macilenta is not directly related to fecundity, the lack of a correlated response to selection on female body size could represent an alternate evolutionary pathway in the evolution of body size and SSD in insects. PMID:26013128

  1. Women's height, reproductive success and the evolution of sexual dimorphism in modern humans.

    PubMed Central

    Nettle, Daniel

    2002-01-01

    Recent studies have shown that, in contemporary populations, tall men have greater reproductive success than shorter men. This appears to be due to their greater ability to attract mates. To our knowledge, no comparable results have yet been reported for women. This study used data from Britain's National Child Development Study to examine the life histories of a nationally representative group of women. Height was weakly but significantly related to reproductive success. The relationship was U-shaped, with deficits at the extremes of height. This pattern was largely due to poor health among extremely tall and extremely short women. However, the maximum reproductive success was found below the mean height for women. Thus, selection appears to be sexually disruptive in this population, favouring tall men and short women. Over evolutionary time, such a situation tends to maintain sexual dimorphism. Men do not use stature as a positive mate-choice criterion as women do. It is argued that there is good evolutionary reason for this, because men are orientated towards cues of fertility, and female height, being positively related to age of sexual maturity, is not such a cue. PMID:12350254

  2. Female contact modulates male aggression via a sexually dimorphic GABAergic circuit in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Quan; Song, Yuanquan; Yang, Chung-Hui; Jan, Lily Yeh; Jan, Yuh Nung

    2014-01-01

    Intraspecific male-male aggression, which is important for sexual selection, is regulated by environment, experience and internal states through largely undefined molecular and cellular mechanisms. To understand the basic neural pathway underlying the modulation of this innate behavior, we established a behavioral assay in Drosophila melanogaster and investigated the relationship between sexual experience and aggression. In the presence of mating partners, adult male flies exhibited elevated levels of aggression, which was largely suppressed by prior exposure to females via a sexually dimorphic neural mechanism. The suppression involved the ability of male flies to detect females by contact chemosensation through the pheromone-sensing ion channel ppk29 and was mediated by male-specific GABAergic neurons acting on the GABAA receptor RDL in target cells. Silencing or activating this circuit led to dis-inhibition or elimination of sex-related aggression, respectively. We propose that the GABAergic inhibition represents a critical cellular mechanism that enables prior experience to modulate aggression. PMID:24241395

  3. Transcriptomic Analyses Reveal Novel Genes with Sexually Dimorphic Expression in Yellow Catfish (Pelteobagrus fulvidraco) Brain.

    PubMed

    Lu, Jianguo; Zheng, Min; Zheng, Jiajia; Liu, Jian; Liu, Yongzhuang; Peng, Lina; Wang, Pingping; Zhang, Xiaofeng; Wang, Qiushi; Luan, Peixian; Mahbooband, Shahid; Sun, Xiaowen

    2015-10-01

    Yellow catfish (Pelteobagrus fulvidraco) is a pivotal freshwater aquaculture species in China. It shows sexual size dimorphism favoring male in growth. Whole transcriptome approach is required to get the overview of genetic toolkit for understanding the sex determination mechanism aiming at devising its monosex production. Beside gonads, the brain is also considered as a major organ for vertebrate reproduction. Transcriptomic analyses on the brain and of different developmental stages will provide the dynamic view necessary for better understanding its sex determination. In this regard, we have performed a de novo assembly of yellow catfish brain transcriptome by high throughput Illumina sequencing. A total number of 154,507 contigs were obtained with the lengths ranging from 201 to 27,822 bp and N50 of 2,101 bp, as well as 20,699 unigenes were identified. Of these unigenes, 13 and 54 unigenes were detected to be XY-specifically expressed genes (SEGs) for one and 2-year-old yellow catfish, while the corresponding numbers of XX-SEGs for those two stages were 19 and 13, respectively. Our work identifies a set of annotated genes that are candidate factors affecting sexual dimorphism as well as simple sequence repeat (SSR) and single nucleotide variation (SNV) in yellow catfish. To validate the expression patterns of the sex-related genes, we performed quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) indicating the reliability and accuracy of our analysis. The results in our study may enhance our understanding of yellow catfish sex determination and potentially help to improve the production of all-male yellow catfish for aquaculture. PMID:26242754

  4. Nested Levels of Adaptive Divergence: The Genetic Basis of Craniofacial Divergence and Ecological Sexual Dimorphism

    PubMed Central

    Parsons, Kevin J.; Wang, Jason; Anderson, Graeme; Albertson, R. Craig

    2015-01-01

    Exemplary systems for adaptive divergence are often characterized by their large degrees of phenotypic variation. This variation represents the outcome of generations of diversifying selection. However, adaptive radiations can also contain a hierarchy of differentiation nested within them where species display only subtle phenotypic differences that still have substantial effects on ecology, function, and ultimately fitness. Sexual dimorphisms are also common in species displaying adaptive divergence and can be the result of differential selection between sexes that produce ecological differences between sexes. Understanding the genetic basis of subtle variation (between certain species or sexes) is therefore important for understanding the process of adaptive divergence. Using cichlids from the dramatic adaptive radiation of Lake Malawi, we focus on understanding the genetic basis of two aspects of relatively subtle phenotypic variation. This included a morphometric comparison of the patterns of craniofacial divergence between two ecologically similar species in relation to the larger adaptive radiation of Malawi, and male–female morphological divergence between their F2 hybrids. We then genetically map craniofacial traits within the context of sex and locate several regions of the genome that contribute to variation in craniofacial shape that is relevant to sexual dimorphism within species and subtle divergence between closely related species, and possibly to craniofacial divergence in the Malawi radiation as a whole. To enhance our search for candidate genes we take advantage of population genomic data and a genetic map that is anchored to the cichlid genome to determine which genes within our QTL regions are associated with SNPs that are alternatively fixed between species. This study provides a holistic understanding of the genetic underpinnings of adaptive divergence in craniofacial shape. PMID:26038365

  5. Sexually dimorphic adaptations in basal maternal stress physiology during pregnancy and implications for fetal development.

    PubMed

    Giesbrecht, Gerald F; Campbell, Tavis; Letourneau, Nicole

    2015-06-01

    There is clear evidence of reciprocal exchange of information between the mother and fetus during pregnancy but the majority of research in this area has focussed on the fetus as a recipient of signals from the mother. Specifically, physiological signals produced by the maternal stress systems in response to the environment may carry valuable information about the state of the external world. Prenatal stress produces sex-specific adaptations within fetal physiology that have pervasive and long-lasting effects on development. Little is known, however, about the effects of sex-specific fetal signals on maternal adaptations to pregnancy. The current prospective study examined sexually dimorphic adaptations within maternal stress physiology, including the hypothalamic-adrenal-pituitary (HPA) axis and the autonomic nervous system (ANS) and associations with fetal growth. Using diurnal suites of saliva collected in early and late pregnancy, we demonstrate that basal cortisol and salivary alpha-amylase (sAA) differ by fetal sex. Women carrying female fetuses displayed greater autonomic arousal and flatter (but more elevated) diurnal cortisol patterns compared to women carrying males. Women with flatter daytime cortisol trajectories and more blunted sAA awakening responses also had infants with lower birth weight. These maternal adaptations are consistent with sexually dimorphic fetal developmental/evolutionary adaptation strategies that favor growth for males and conservation of resources for females. The findings provide new evidence to suggest that the fetus contributes to maternal HPA axis and ANS regulation during pregnancy and that these systems also contribute to the regulation of fetal growth. PMID:25827961

  6. Sexually dimorphic innate immunological responses of pre-pubertal Brahman cattle following an intravenous lipopolysaccharide challenge.

    PubMed

    Carroll, Jeffery A; Burdick Sanchez, Nicole C; Hulbert, Lindsey E; Ballou, Michael A; Dailey, Jeffery W; Caldwell, Lisa C; Vann, Rhonda C; Welsh, Thomas H; Randel, Ronald D

    2015-08-15

    This study was designed to characterize potential sexually dimorphic immunological responses following a lipopolysaccharide (LPS) challenge in beef cattle. Six female (heifers) and five male (bulls) Brahman calves (average age=253 ± 19.9 and 288 ± 47.9 days; average body weight=194 ± 11 kg and 247 ± 19 kg for heifers and bulls, respectively) were challenged with LPS (0.25 μg LPS/kg body weight). Following administration of LPS, all cattle displayed increased sickness behavior beginning at 0.5h, with heifers on average displaying less sickness behavior than bulls. A febrile response was observed in all animals following LPS administration, with a maximum response observed from 4 to 5.5h. The average rectal temperature response was greater in heifers than bulls. In all cattle there were elevated serum concentrations of cortisol from 0.5 to 8h, TNF-α from 1 to 2.5h, IL-6 from 2 to 8h, and IFN-γ from 2.5 to 7h after LPS challenge. Additionally, serum concentrations of TNF-α were greater in heifers than bulls from 1.5 to 2h after the LPS challenge. Concentrations of IFN-γ were also greater on average in bulls than heifers. Leukopenia occurred from 1 to 8h, with a decreased neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio for the first 5h among all calves. These data demonstrate the existence of a sexually dimorphic acute-phase response in pre-pubertal Brahman calves. Specifically, heifers may have a more robust acute response to LPS challenge, even though bulls display more signs of sickness. PMID:26144890

  7. Eye movements reveal sexually dimorphic deficits in children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder

    PubMed Central

    Paolozza, Angelina; Munn, Rebecca; Munoz, Douglas P.; Reynolds, James N.

    2015-01-01

    Background: We examined the accuracy and characteristics of saccadic eye movements in children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) compared with typically developing control children. Previous studies have found that children with FASD produce saccades that are quantifiably different from controls. Additionally, animal studies have found sex-based differences for behavioral effects after prenatal alcohol exposure. Therefore, we hypothesized that eye movement measures will show sexually dimorphic results. Methods: Children (aged 5–18 years) with FASD (n = 71) and typically developing controls (n = 113) performed a visually-guided saccade task. Saccade metrics and behavior were analyzed for sex and group differences. Results: Female control participants had greater amplitude saccades than control males or females with FASD. Accuracy was significantly poorer in the FASD group, especially in males, which introduced significantly greater variability in the data. Therefore, we conducted additional analyses including only those trials in which the first saccade successfully reached the target within a ± 1° window. In this restricted amplitude dataset, the females with FASD made saccades with significantly lower velocity and longer duration, whereas the males with FASD did not differ from the control group. Additionally, the mean and peak deceleration were selectively decreased in the females with FASD. Conclusions: These data support the hypothesis that children with FASD exhibit specific deficits in eye movement control and sensory-motor integration associated with cerebellar and/or brain stem circuits. Moreover, prenatal alcohol exposure may have a sexually dimorphic impact on eye movement metrics, with males and females exhibiting differential patterns of deficit. PMID:25814922

  8. Sexual Dimorphism in the Expression of Mitochondria-Related Genes in Rat Heart at Different Ages

    PubMed Central

    Vijay, Vikrant; Han, Tao; Moland, Carrie L.; Kwekel, Joshua C.; Fuscoe, James C.; Desai, Varsha G.

    2015-01-01

    Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of mortality worldwide. Moreover, sex and age are considered major risk factors in the development of CVDs. Mitochondria are vital for normal cardiac function, and regulation of mitochondrial structure and function may impact susceptibility to CVD. To identify potential role of mitochondria in sex-related differences in susceptibility to CVD, we analyzed the basal expression levels of mitochondria-related genes in the hearts of male and female rats. Whole genome expression profiling was performed in the hearts of young (8-week), adult (21-week), and old (78-week) male and female Fischer 344 rats and the expression of 670 unique genes related to various mitochondrial functions was analyzed. A significant (p<0.05) sexual dimorphism in expression levels of 46, 114, and 41 genes was observed in young, adult and old rats, respectively. Gene Ontology analysis revealed the influence of sex on various biological pathways related to cardiac energy metabolism at different ages. The expression of genes involved in fatty acid metabolism was significantly different between the sexes in young and adult rat hearts. Adult male rats also showed higher expression of genes associated with the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex compared to females. In young and adult hearts, sexual dimorphism was not noted in genes encoding oxidative phosphorylation. In old rats, however, a majority of genes involved in oxidative phosphorylation had higher expression in females compared to males. Such basal differences between the sexes in cardiac expression of genes associated with energy metabolism may indicate a likely involvement of mitochondria in susceptibility to CVDs. In addition, female rats showed lower expression levels of apoptotic genes in hearts compared to males at all ages, which may have implications for better preservation of cardiac mass in females than in males. PMID:25615628

  9. Sexual Dimorphism in Circadian Physiology Is Altered in LXRα Deficient Mice

    PubMed Central

    Feillet, Céline; Guérin, Sophie; Lonchampt, Michel; Dacquet, Catherine; Gustafsson, Jan-Åke; Delaunay, Franck; Teboul, Michèle

    2016-01-01

    The mammalian circadian timing system coordinates key molecular, cellular and physiological processes along the 24-h cycle. Accumulating evidence suggests that many clock-controlled processes display a sexual dimorphism. In mammals this is well exemplified by the difference between the male and female circadian patterns of glucocorticoid hormone secretion and clock gene expression. Here we show that the non-circadian nuclear receptor and metabolic sensor Liver X Receptor alpha (LXRα) which is known to regulate glucocorticoid production in mice modulates the sex specific circadian pattern of plasma corticosterone. Lxrα-/- males display a blunted corticosterone profile while females show higher amplitude as compared to wild type animals. Wild type males are significantly slower than females to resynchronize their locomotor activity rhythm after an 8 h phase advance but this difference is abrogated in Lxrα-/- males which display a female-like phenotype. We also show that circadian expression patterns of liver 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11β-HSD1) and Phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (Pepck) differ between sexes and are differentially altered in Lxrα-/- animals. These changes are associated with a damped profile of plasma glucose oscillation in males but not in females. Sex specific alteration of the insulin and leptin circadian profiles were observed in Lxα-/- females and could be explained by the change in corticosterone profile. Together this data indicates that LXRα is a determinant of sexually dimorphic circadian patterns of key physiological parameters. The discovery of this unanticipated role for LXRα in circadian physiology underscores the importance of addressing sex differences in chronobiology studies and future LXRα targeted therapies. PMID:26938655

  10. Does life history shape sexual size dimorphism in anurans? A comparative analysis

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The evolution of sexual size dimorphism (SSD) is likely constrained by life history. Using phylogenetic comparative methods, we examined correlations between SSD among anurans and their life history traits, including egg size, clutch size, mating combat, and parental care behaviour. We used sexual dimorphism index (SDI = Body-sizefemale /Body-sizemale –1) as the measurement for SSD. Body size, life history and phylogenetic data were collected from published literature. Data were analysed at two levels: all anuran species and within individual families. Results Female-biased SSD is the predominant form in anurans. SSD decreases along with the body size increase, following the prediction of Rensch’s rule, but the magnitude of decrease is very small. More importantly, female body size is positively correlated with both fecundity related traits, egg size and clutch size, and SDI is also positively correlated with clutch size, suggesting fecundity advantage may have driven the evolution of female body size and consequently leads to the evolution of female-biased SSD. Furthermore, the presence of parental care, male parental care in particular, is negatively correlated with SDI, indicating that species with parental care tend to have a smaller SDI. A negative correlation between clutch size and parental care further suggests that parental care likely reduces the fecundity selection pressure on female body size. On the other hand, there is a general lack of significant correlation between SDI and the presence of male combat behaviour, which is surprising and contradictory to previous studies. Conclusions We find clear evidence to support the ‘fecundity advantage hypothesis’ and the ‘parental care hypothesis’ in shaping SSD in anurans. Nevertheless, the relationships of both parental care and combat behaviour to the evolution of SSD are complex in anurans and the extreme diversity of life history traits may have masked some potential interesting

  11. Sexual Dimorphism in Circadian Physiology Is Altered in LXRα Deficient Mice.

    PubMed

    Feillet, Céline; Guérin, Sophie; Lonchampt, Michel; Dacquet, Catherine; Gustafsson, Jan-Åke; Delaunay, Franck; Teboul, Michèle

    2016-01-01

    The mammalian circadian timing system coordinates key molecular, cellular and physiological processes along the 24-h cycle. Accumulating evidence suggests that many clock-controlled processes display a sexual dimorphism. In mammals this is well exemplified by the difference between the male and female circadian patterns of glucocorticoid hormone secretion and clock gene expression. Here we show that the non-circadian nuclear receptor and metabolic sensor Liver X Receptor alpha (LXRα) which is known to regulate glucocorticoid production in mice modulates the sex specific circadian pattern of plasma corticosterone. Lxrα(-/-) males display a blunted corticosterone profile while females show higher amplitude as compared to wild type animals. Wild type males are significantly slower than females to resynchronize their locomotor activity rhythm after an 8 h phase advance but this difference is abrogated in Lxrα(-/-) males which display a female-like phenotype. We also show that circadian expression patterns of liver 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11β-HSD1) and Phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (Pepck) differ between sexes and are differentially altered in Lxrα(-/-) animals. These changes are associated with a damped profile of plasma glucose oscillation in males but not in females. Sex specific alteration of the insulin and leptin circadian profiles were observed in Lxα(-/-) females and could be explained by the change in corticosterone profile. Together this data indicates that LXRα is a determinant of sexually dimorphic circadian patterns of key physiological parameters. The discovery of this unanticipated role for LXRα in circadian physiology underscores the importance of addressing sex differences in chronobiology studies and future LXRα targeted therapies. PMID:26938655

  12. Sexual dimorphism of brain aromatase activity in medaka: induction of a female phenotype by estradiol.

    PubMed Central

    Melo, A C; Ramsdell, J S

    2001-01-01

    In this study we identified sex-dependent dimorphism of brain aromatase in the teleost medaka and examined its regulation by sex steriods. We first investigated differential distribution of brain aromatase activity in sexually mature male and female medaka in serial coronal sections of the brain and identified the hypothalamic nuclei contained in each section using the brain atlas of medaka. In the brain of male medaka, high levels of activity are localized in sections containing the preoptic (POA) and suprachiasmatic nuclei (SC) (63-75 fmol/hr) and low levels in the nuclei periventricular dorsalis (HD), ventralis (HV), and caudalis (Hc), nuclei diffusus of lobulus inferiores (NDIL), and nuclei tuberi anteriores (TA) and posteriores (TP) (< 25 fmol/hr). In the brain of female medaka high aromatase activity is localized in sections containing the HD, HV, Hc, NDIL, TA, and TP (85-80 fmol/hr) and highly variable levels in the POA and SC (23-70 fmol/hr). The concentration and time dependency of the exposure of male medaka to estradiol on the total brain aromatase activity and morphologic sex characteristics were determined next. Estradiol increased the activity of brain aromatase in a concentration-dependent manner at 2.5 and 25 microg/L, but the increase was lower at higher concentrations of the hormone. The effect was time dependent, gradually increasing up to the fifth day of exposure, after which it reached a plateau. Estradiol induction of brain aromatase analyzed using Lineweaver-Burke plots of saturation assays revealed a non-first-order reaction. The results indicate that a positive feedback mechanism regulates brain aromatase and imply that the sexual dimorphic distribution of aromatase may be highly sensitive to physiologic cues and environmental perturbations in fish. PMID:11333187

  13. Neonatal oxytocin manipulations have long-lasting, sexually dimorphic effects on vasopressin receptors.

    PubMed

    Bales, K L; Plotsky, P M; Young, L J; Lim, M M; Grotte, N; Ferrer, E; Carter, C S

    2007-01-01

    Developmental exposure to oxytocin (OT) or oxytocin antagonists (OTAs) has been shown to cause long-lasting and often sexually dimorphic effects on social behaviors in prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster). Because regulation of social behavior in monogamous mammals involves central receptors for OT, arginine vasopressin (AVP), and dopamine, we examined the hypothesis that the long-lasting, developmental effects of exposure to neonatal OT or OTA might reflect changes in the expression of receptors for these peptides. On postnatal day 1, prairie voles were injected intraperitoneally with either OT (1 mg/kg), an OTA (0.1 mg/kg), saline vehicle, or were handled only. At approximately 60 days of age, vasopressin V1a receptors, OT receptors (OTR) and dopamine D2 receptor binding were quantified using receptor autoradiography in brain tissue taken from males and females. Significant treatment effects on V1a binding were found in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST), cingulate cortex (CgCtx), mediodorsal thalamus (MdThal), medial preoptic area of the hypothalamus (MPOA), and lateral septum (LS). The CgCtx, MPOA, ventral pallidum, and LS also showed significant sex by treatment interactions on V1a binding. No significant treatment or sex differences were observed for D2 receptor binding. No significant treatment difference was observed for OTR receptor binding, and only a marginal sex difference. Changes in the neuropeptide receptor expression, especially the V1a receptor, may help to explain sexually dimorphic changes in behavior that follow comparable neonatal manipulations. PMID:17055176

  14. Sexual dimorphism and the evolution of sex-biased gene expression in the brown alga ectocarpus.

    PubMed

    Lipinska, Agnieszka; Cormier, Alexandre; Luthringer, Rémy; Peters, Akira F; Corre, Erwan; Gachon, Claire M M; Cock, J Mark; Coelho, Susana M

    2015-06-01

    Males and females often have marked phenotypic differences, and the expression of these dissimilarities invariably involves sex differences in gene expression. Sex-biased gene expression has been well characterized in animal species, where a high proportion of the genome may be differentially regulated in males and females during development. Male-biased genes tend to evolve more rapidly than female-biased genes, implying differences in the strength of the selective forces acting on the two sexes. Analyses of sex-biased gene expression have focused on organisms that exhibit separate sexes during the diploid phase of the life cycle (diploid sexual systems), but the genetic nature of the sexual system is expected to influence the evolutionary trajectories of sex-biased genes. We analyze here the patterns of sex-biased gene expression in Ectocarpus, a brown alga with haploid sex determination (dioicy) and a low level of phenotypic sexual dimorphism. In Ectocarpus, female-biased genes were found to be evolving as rapidly as male-biased genes. Moreover, genes expressed at fertility showed faster rates of evolution than genes expressed in immature gametophytes. Both male- and female-biased genes had a greater proportion of sites experiencing positive selection, suggesting that their accelerated evolution is at least partly driven by adaptive evolution. Gene duplication appears to have played a significant role in the generation of sex-biased genes in Ectocarpus, expanding previous models that propose this mechanism for the resolution of sexual antagonism in diploid systems. The patterns of sex-biased gene expression in Ectocarpus are consistent both with predicted characteristics of UV (haploid) sexual systems and with the distinctive aspects of this organism's reproductive biology. PMID:25725430

  15. Sexual dimorphism in sister species of Leucoraja skate and its relationship to reproductive strategy and life history.

    PubMed

    Martinez, Christopher M; Rohlf, F James; Frisk, Michael G

    2016-03-01

    Instances of sexual dimorphism occur in a great variety of forms and manifestations. Most skates (Batoidea: Rajoidei) display some level of body shape dimorphism in which the pectoral fins of mature males develop to create a distinct bell-shaped body not found in females. This particular form of dimorphism is present in each of the sister species Leucoraja erinacea and Leucoraja ocellata, but differences between sexes are much greater in the former. In order to understand the nature and potential causes of pectoral dimorphism, we used geometric morphometrics to investigate allometry of fin shape in L. erinacea and L. ocellata and its relationship to the development of reproductive organs, based on previous work on the bonnethead shark, Sphyrna tiburo. We found that allometric trajectories of overall pectoral shape were different in both species of skate, but only L. erinacea varied significantly with respect to endoskeleton development. Male maturation was characterized by a number of sex-specific morphological changes, which appeared concurrently in developmental timing with elongation of cartilage-supported claspers. We suggest that external sexual dimorphism of pectoral fins in skates is a byproduct of skeletal growth needed for clasper development. Further, the magnitude of male shape change appears to be linked to the differential life histories of species. This work reports for the first time that pectoral dimorphism is a persistent feature in rajoid fishes, occurring in varying degrees across several genera. Lastly, our results suggest that pectoral morphology may be useful as a relative indicator of reproductive strategy in some species. PMID:26771079

  16. Sexual dimorphism in hepatic gene expression and the response to dietary carbohydrate manipulation in the zebrafish (Danio rerio)

    PubMed Central

    Robison, Barrie D.; Drew, Robert E.; Murdoch, Gordon K.; Powell, Madison; Rodnick, Kenneth J.; Settles, Matt; Stone, David; Churchill, Erin; Hill, Rodney A.; Papasani, Madhusudhan R.; Lewis, Solange S.; Hardy, Ronald W.

    2011-01-01

    In this study, we tested for the presence of sexual dimorphism in the hepatic transcriptome of the adult zebrafish and examined the effect of long term manipulation of dietary carbohydrate on gene expression in both sexes. Zebrafish were fed diets comprised of 0%, 15%, 25%, or 35% carbohydrate from the larval stage through sexual maturity, then sampled for hepatic tissue, growth, proximate body composition, and retention efficiencies. Using Affymetrix microarrays and qRT-PCR, we observed substantial sexual dimorphism in the hepatic transcriptome. Males up-regulated genes associated with oxidative metabolism, carbohydrate metabolism, energy production, and amelioration of oxidative stress, while females had higher expression levels of genes associated with translation. Restriction of dietary carbohydrate (0% diet) significantly affected hepatic gene expression, growth performance, retention efficiencies of protein and energy, and percentages of moisture, lipid, and ash. The response of some genes to dietary manipulation varied by sex; with increased dietary carbohydrate, males up-regulated genes associated with oxidative metabolism (e.g. hadhβ) while females up-regulated genes associated with glucose phosphorylation (e.g. glucokinase). Our data support the use of the zebrafish model for the study of fish nutritional genomics, but highlight the importance of accounting for sexual dimorphism in these studies. PMID:20483215

  17. Sexual size and shape dimorphism and allometric scaling patterns in head traits in the New Zealand common gecko Woodworthia maculatus.

    PubMed

    Kelly, Clint D

    2015-08-01

    Sexual dimorphism in shape and size is widespread across animal taxa and arises when natural or sexual selection operates differently on the sexes. Male and female common geckos (Woodworthia maculatus; formerly Hoplodactylus maculatus) in New Zealand do not appear to experience different viability selection pressure, nor do males appear to be under intense pre-copulatory sexual selection. It was therefore predicted that this species would be sexually monomorphic with regard to body size and the size and shape of the head. In line with the prediction, there was no sexual difference in head width, depth, or length or in lateral head shape. However, contrary to prediction, males had a larger body and lateral head size than females. This study suggests that males, at least on Maud Island, NZ, might be under stronger pre-copulatory sexual selection than previously recognized and thus have evolved larger heads (i.e. lateral head size) for use in male combat for females. Allometric scaling patterns do not differ between the sexes and suggest that head width and depth are under directional selection whereas lateral head size is under stabilizing selection. Diet ecology - an agent of natural selection common to both sexes - is likely largely responsible for the observed patterns of head size and shape and the lack of sexual dimorphism in them. PMID:25958103

  18. Sexual Dimorphism in Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes - A Retrospective Australian Population Study 1981-2011

    PubMed Central

    Verburg, Petra E.; Tucker, Graeme; Scheil, Wendy; Erwich, Jan Jaap H. M.; Dekker, Gus A.; Roberts, Claire Trelford

    2016-01-01

    Objectives Sexual inequality starts in utero. The contribution of biological sex to the developmental origins of health and disease is increasingly recognized. The aim of this study was to assess and interpret sexual dimorphisms for three major adverse pregnancy outcomes which affect the health of the neonate, child and potentially adult. Methods Retrospective population-based study of 574,358 South Australian singleton live births during 1981–2011. The incidence of three major adverse pregnancy outcomes [preterm birth (PTB), pregnancy induced hypertensive disorders (PIHD) and gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM)] in relation to fetal sex was compared according to traditional and fetus-at-risk (FAR) approaches. Results The traditional approach showed male predominance for PTB [20–24 weeks: Relative Risk (RR) M/F 1.351, 95%-CI 1.274–1.445], spontaneous PTB [25–29 weeks: RR M/F 1.118, 95%-CI 1.044–1.197%], GDM [RR M/F 1.042, 95%-CI 1.011–1.074], overall PIHD [RR M/F 1.053, 95%-CI 1.034–1.072] and PIHD with term birth [RR M/F 1.074, 95%-CI 1.044–1.105]. The FAR approach showed that males were at increased risk for PTB [20–24 weeks: RR M/F 1.273, 95%-CI 1.087–1.490], for spontaneous PTB [25–29 weeks: RR M/F 1.269, 95%-CI 1.143–1.410] and PIHD with term birth [RR M/F 1.074, 95%-CI 1.044–1.105%]. The traditional approach demonstrated female predominance for iatrogenic PTB [25–29 weeks: RR M/F 0.857, 95%-CI 0.780–0.941] and PIHD associated with PTB [25–29 weeks: RR M/F 0.686, 95%-CI 0.581–0.811]. The FAR approach showed that females were at increased risk for PIHD with PTB [25–29 weeks: RR M/F 0.779, 95%-CI 0.648–0.937]. Conclusions This study confirms the presence of sexual dimorphisms and presents a coherent framework based on two analytical approaches to assess and interpret the sexual dimorphisms for major adverse pregnancy outcomes. The mechanisms by which these occur remain elusive, but sex differences in placental gene

  19. Estrogen-mediated downregulation of AIRE influences sexual dimorphism in autoimmune diseases.

    PubMed

    Dragin, Nadine; Bismuth, Jacky; Cizeron-Clairac, Géraldine; Biferi, Maria Grazia; Berthault, Claire; Serraf, Alain; Nottin, Rémi; Klatzmann, David; Cumano, Ana; Barkats, Martine; Le Panse, Rozen; Berrih-Aknin, Sonia

    2016-04-01

    Autoimmune diseases affect 5% to 8% of the population, and females are more susceptible to these diseases than males. Here, we analyzed human thymic transcriptome and revealed sex-associated differences in the expression of tissue-specific antigens that are controlled by the autoimmune regulator (AIRE), a key factor in central tolerance. We hypothesized that the level of AIRE is linked to sexual dimorphism susceptibility to autoimmune diseases. In human and mouse thymus, females expressed less AIRE (mRNA and protein) than males after puberty. These results were confirmed in purified murine thymic epithelial cells (TECs). We also demonstrated that AIRE expression is related to sexual hormones, as male castration decreased AIRE thymic expression and estrogen receptor α-deficient mice did not show a sex disparity for AIRE expression. Moreover, estrogen treatment resulted in downregulation of AIRE expression in cultured human TECs, human thymic tissue grafted to immunodeficient mice, and murine fetal thymus organ cultures. AIRE levels in human thymus grafted in immunodeficient mice depended upon the sex of the recipient. Estrogen also upregulated the number of methylated CpG sites in the AIRE promoter. Together, our results indicate that in females, estrogen induces epigenetic changes in the AIRE gene, leading to reduced AIRE expression under a threshold that increases female susceptibility to autoimmune diseases. PMID:26999605

  20. Estimating the sex-specific effects of genes on facial attractiveness and sexual dimorphism.

    PubMed

    Mitchem, Dorian G; Purkey, Alicia M; Grebe, Nicholas M; Carey, Gregory; Garver-Apgar, Christine E; Bates, Timothy C; Arden, Rosalind; Hewitt, John K; Medland, Sarah E; Martin, Nicholas G; Zietsch, Brendan P; Keller, Matthew C

    2014-05-01

    Human facial attractiveness and facial sexual dimorphism (masculinity-femininity) are important facets of mate choice and are hypothesized to honestly advertise genetic quality. However, it is unclear whether genes influencing facial attractiveness and masculinity-femininity have similar, opposing, or independent effects across sex, and the heritability of these phenotypes is poorly characterized. To investigate these issues, we assessed facial attractiveness and facial masculinity-femininity in the largest genetically informative sample (n = 1,580 same- and opposite-sex twin pairs and siblings) to assess these questions to date. The heritability was ~0.50-0.70 for attractiveness and ~0.40-0.50 for facial masculinity-femininity, indicating that, despite ostensible selection on genes influencing these traits, substantial genetic variation persists in both. Importantly, we found evidence for intralocus sexual conflict, whereby alleles that increase masculinity in males have the same effect in females. Additionally, genetic influences on attractiveness were shared across the sexes, suggesting that attractive fathers tend to have attractive daughters and attractive mothers tend to have attractive sons. PMID:24213680

  1. Energetic consequences of sexual size dimorphism in nestling red-winged blackbirds

    SciTech Connect

    Fiala, K.L.,; Congdon, J.D.

    1983-01-01

    The energy budget of nestling Red-winged Blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus) was determined using doubly labeled water (/sup 3/HH/sup 18/O) to measure field metabolic rate (FMR) and body component data to measure growth energy. Sex-specific measurements permitted the evaluation of the effects of this species' substantial sexual size dimorphism on FMR and total energetics. FMR averaged CO/sub 2/ release of 5.12 mL.g/sup -1/.h/sup -1/, or 0.129 kJ.g/sup -1/.h/sup -1/, with no significant differences between the sexes. Daytime FMRs of CO/sub 2/ production (5.34 mL.g/sup -1/.h/sup -1/) were higher, but not significantly so, than nighttime FMRs (4.45 mL.g/sup -1/.h/sup -1/). Water influx averaged 0.95 mL.g/sup -1/.d/sup -1/, with daytime rates (1.22 mL.g/sup -1/.d/sup -1/) significantly higher than nighttime (0.40 mL.g/sup -1/d/sup -1/) rates. Total assimilated energy from hatching to fledging was 1014 and 797 kJ for male and female nestlings, respectively. The sexual differences in total energetics reflected differences in body size of the nestlings and suggest that there is a greater cost to the parents in raising males than in raising females.

  2. Estrogen-mediated downregulation of AIRE influences sexual dimorphism in autoimmune diseases

    PubMed Central

    Dragin, Nadine; Bismuth, Jacky; Cizeron-Clairac, Géraldine; Biferi, Maria Grazia; Berthault, Claire; Serraf, Alain; Nottin, Rémi; Klatzmann, David; Cumano, Ana; Barkats, Martine; Le Panse, Rozen

    2016-01-01

    Autoimmune diseases affect 5% to 8% of the population, and females are more susceptible to these diseases than males. Here, we analyzed human thymic transcriptome and revealed sex-associated differences in the expression of tissue-specific antigens that are controlled by the autoimmune regulator (AIRE), a key factor in central tolerance. We hypothesized that the level of AIRE is linked to sexual dimorphism susceptibility to autoimmune diseases. In human and mouse thymus, females expressed less AIRE (mRNA and protein) than males after puberty. These results were confirmed in purified murine thymic epithelial cells (TECs). We also demonstrated that AIRE expression is related to sexual hormones, as male castration decreased AIRE thymic expression and estrogen receptor α–deficient mice did not show a sex disparity for AIRE expression. Moreover, estrogen treatment resulted in downregulation of AIRE expression in cultured human TECs, human thymic tissue grafted to immunodeficient mice, and murine fetal thymus organ cultures. AIRE levels in human thymus grafted in immunodeficient mice depended upon the sex of the recipient. Estrogen also upregulated the number of methylated CpG sites in the AIRE promoter. Together, our results indicate that in females, estrogen induces epigenetic changes in the AIRE gene, leading to reduced AIRE expression under a threshold that increases female susceptibility to autoimmune diseases. PMID:26999605

  3. Sexually dimorphic expression of Mafb regulates masculinization of the embryonic urethral formation

    PubMed Central

    Suzuki, Kentaro; Numata, Tomokazu; Suzuki, Hiroko; Raga, Dennis Diana; Ipulan, Lerrie Ann; Yokoyama, Chikako; Matsushita, Shoko; Hamada, Michito; Nakagata, Naomi; Nishinakamura, Ryuichi; Kume, Shoen; Takahashi, Satoru; Yamada, Gen

    2014-01-01

    Masculinization of external genitalia is an essential process in the formation of the male reproductive system. Prominent characteristics of this masculinization are the organ size and the sexual differentiation of the urethra. Although androgen is a pivotal inducer of the masculinization, the regulatory mechanism under the control of androgen is still unknown. Here, we address this longstanding question about how androgen induces masculinization of the embryonic external genitalia through the identification of the v-maf avian musculoaponeurotic fibrosarcoma oncogene homolog B (Mafb) gene. Mafb is expressed prominently in the mesenchyme of male genital tubercle (GT), the anlage of external genitalia. MAFB expression is rarely detected in the mesenchyme of female GTs. However, exposure to exogenous androgen induces its mesenchymal expression in female GTs. Furthermore, MAFB expression is prominently down-regulated in male GTs of androgen receptor (Ar) KO mice, indicating that AR signaling is necessary for its expression. It is revealed that Mafb KO male GTs exhibit defective embryonic urethral formation, giving insight into the common human congenital anomaly hypospadias. However, the size of Mafb KO male GTs is similar with that of wild-type males. Moreover, androgen treatment fails to induce urethral masculinization of the GTs in Mafb KO mice. The current results provide evidence that Mafb is an androgen-inducible, sexually dimorphic regulator of embryonic urethral masculinization. PMID:25362053

  4. Sexual dimorphisms in swimming behavior, cerebral metabolic activity and adrenoceptors in adult zebrafish (Danio rerio).

    PubMed

    Ampatzis, Konstantinos; Dermon, Catherine R

    2016-10-01

    Sexually dimorphic behaviors and brain sex differences, not only restricted to reproduction, are considered to be evolutionary preserved. Specifically, anxiety related behavioral repertoire is suggested to exhibit sex-specific characteristics in rodents and primates. The present study investigated whether behavioral responses to novelty, have sex-specific characteristics in the neurogenetic model organism zebrafish (Danio rerio), lacking chromosomal sex determination. For this, aspects of anxiety-like behavior (including reduced exploration, increased freezing behavior and erratic movement) of male and female adult zebrafish were tested in a novel tank paradigm and after habituation. Male and female zebrafish showed significant differences in their swimming activity in response to novelty, with females showing less anxiety spending more time in the upper tank level. When fish have habituated, regional cerebral glucose uptake, an index of neuronal activity, and brain adrenoceptors' (ARs) expression (α2-ARs and β-ARs) were determined using in vivo 2-[(14)C]-deoxyglucose methodology and in vitro neurotransmitter receptors quantitative autoradiography, respectively. Intriguingly, females exhibited higher glucose utilization than males in hypothalamic brain areas. Adrenoceptor's expression pattern was dimorphic in zebrafish telencephalic, preoptic, hypothalamic nuclei, central gray, and cerebellum, similarly to birds and mammals. Specifically, the lateral zone of dorsal telencephalon (Dl), an area related to spatial cognition, homologous to the mammalian hippocampus, showed higher α2-AR densities in females. In contrast, male cerebellum included higher densities of β-ARs in comparison to female. Taken together, our data demonstrate a well-defined sex discriminant cerebral metabolic activity and ARs' pattern in zebrafish, possibly contributing to male-female differences in the swimming behavior. PMID:27363927

  5. The eunuch phenomenon: adaptive evolution of genital emasculation in sexually dimorphic spiders.

    PubMed

    Kuntner, Matjaž; Agnarsson, Ingi; Li, Daiqin

    2015-02-01

    Under natural and sexual selection traits often evolve that secure paternity or maternity through self-sacrifice to predators, rivals, offspring, or partners. Emasculation-males removing their genitals-is an unusual example of such behaviours. Known only in insects and spiders, the phenomenon's adaptiveness is difficult to explain, yet its repeated origins and association with sexual size dimorphism (SSD) and sexual cannibalism suggest an adaptive significance. In spiders, emasculation of paired male sperm-transferring organs - secondary genitals - (hereafter, palps), results in 'eunuchs'. This behaviour has been hypothesized to be adaptive because (i) males plug female genitals with their severed palps (plugging hypothesis), (ii) males remove their palps to become better fighters in male-male contests (better-fighter hypothesis), perhaps reaching higher agility due to reduced total body mass (gloves-off hypothesis), and (iii) males achieve prolonged sperm transfer through severed genitals (remote-copulation hypothesis). Prior research has provided evidence in support of these hypotheses in some orb-weaving spiders but these explanations are far from general. Seeking broad macroevolutionary patterns of spider emasculation, we review the known occurrences, weigh the evidence in support of the hypotheses in each known case, and redefine more precisely the particular cases of emasculation depending on its timing in relation to maturation and mating: 'pre-maturation', 'mating', and 'post-mating'. We use a genus-level spider phylogeny to explore emasculation evolution and to investigate potential evolutionary linkage between emasculation, SSD, lesser genital damage (embolic breakage), and sexual cannibalism (females consuming their mates). We find a complex pattern of spider emasculation evolution, all cases confined to Araneoidea: emasculation evolved at least five and up to 11 times, was lost at least four times, and became further modified at least once. We also find

  6. Examination of the genetic basis for sexual dimorphism in the Aedes aegypti (dengue vector mosquito) pupal brain

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Most animal species exhibit sexually dimorphic behaviors, many of which are linked to reproduction. A number of these behaviors, including blood feeding in female mosquitoes, contribute to the global spread of vector-borne illnesses. However, knowledge concerning the genetic basis of sexually dimorphic traits is limited in any organism, including mosquitoes, especially with respect to differences in the developing nervous system. Methods Custom microarrays were used to examine global differences in female vs. male gene expression in the developing pupal head of the dengue vector mosquito, Aedes aegypti. The spatial expression patterns of a subset of differentially expressed transcripts were examined in the developing female vs. male pupal brain through in situ hybridization experiments. Small interfering RNA (siRNA)-mediated knockdown studies were used to assess the putative role of Doublesex, a terminal component of the sex determination pathway, in the regulation of sex-specific gene expression observed in the developing pupal brain. Results Transcripts (2,527), many of which were linked to proteolysis, the proteasome, metabolism, catabolic, and biosynthetic processes, ion transport, cell growth, and proliferation, were found to be differentially expressed in A. aegypti female vs. male pupal heads. Analysis of the spatial expression patterns for a subset of dimorphically expressed genes in the pupal brain validated the data set and also facilitated the identification of brain regions with dimorphic gene expression. In many cases, dimorphic gene expression localized to the optic lobe. Sex-specific differences in gene expression were also detected in the antennal lobe and mushroom body. siRNA-mediated gene targeting experiments demonstrated that Doublesex, a transcription factor with consensus binding sites located adjacent to many dimorphically expressed transcripts that function in neural development, is required for regulation of sex-specific gene

  7. Sex allocation according to multiple sexually dimorphic traits of both parents in the barn swallow (Hirundo rustica).

    PubMed

    Romano, A; Romano, M; Caprioli, M; Costanzo, A; Parolini, M; Rubolini, D; Saino, N

    2015-06-01

    Parents should differentially invest in sons or daughters depending on the sex-specific fitness returns from male and female offspring. In species with sexually selected heritable male characters, highly ornamented fathers should overproduce sons, which will be more sexually attractive than sons of less ornamented fathers. Because of genetic correlations between the sexes, females that express traits which are under selection in males should also overproduce sons. However, sex allocation strategies may consist in reaction norms leading to spatiotemporal variation in the association between offspring sex ratio (SR) and parental phenotype. We analysed offspring SR in barn swallows (Hirundo rustica) over 8 years in relation to two sexually dimorphic traits: tail length and melanin-based ventral plumage coloration. The proportion of sons increased with maternal plumage darkness and paternal tail length, consistently with sexual dimorphism in these traits. The size of the effect of these parental traits on SR was large compared to other studies of offspring SR in birds. Barn swallows thus manipulate offspring SR to overproduce 'sexy sons' and potentially to mitigate the costs of intralocus sexually antagonistic selection. Interannual variation in the relationships between offspring SR and parental traits was observed which may suggest phenotypic plasticity in sex allocation and provides a proximate explanation for inconsistent results of studies of sex allocation in relation to sexual ornamentation in birds. PMID:25913917

  8. Size-assortative mating and sexual size dimorphism are predictable from simple mechanics of mate-grasping behavior

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background A major challenge in evolutionary biology is to understand the typically complex interactions between diverse counter-balancing factors of Darwinian selection for size assortative mating and sexual size dimorphism. It appears that rarely a simple mechanism could provide a major explanation of these phenomena. Mechanics of behaviors can predict animal morphology, such like adaptations to locomotion in animals from various of taxa, but its potential to predict size-assortative mating and its evolutionary consequences has been less explored. Mate-grasping by males, using specialized adaptive morphologies of their forelegs, midlegs or even antennae wrapped around female body at specific locations, is a general mating strategy of many animals, but the contribution of the mechanics of this wide-spread behavior to the evolution of mating behavior and sexual size dimorphism has been largely ignored. Results Here, we explore the consequences of a simple, and previously ignored, fact that in a grasping posture the position of the male's grasping appendages relative to the female's body is often a function of body size difference between the sexes. Using an approach taken from robot mechanics we model coercive grasping of females by water strider Gerris gracilicornis males during mating initiation struggles. We determine that the male optimal size (relative to the female size), which gives the males the highest grasping force, properly predicts the experimentally measured highest mating success. Through field sampling and simulation modeling of a natural population we determine that the simple mechanical model, which ignores most of the other hypothetical counter-balancing selection pressures on body size, is sufficient to account for size-assortative mating pattern as well as species-specific sexual dimorphism in body size of G. gracilicornis. Conclusion The results indicate how a simple and previously overlooked physical mechanism common in many taxa is

  9. Sexual Niche Segregation and Gender-Specific Individual Specialisation in a Highly Dimorphic Marine Mammal

    PubMed Central

    Kernaléguen, Laëtitia; Cherel, Yves; Knox, Travis C.; Baylis, Alastair M. M.; Arnould, John P. Y.

    2015-01-01

    While sexual segregation is expected in highly dimorphic species, the local environment is a major factor driving the degree of resource partitioning within a population. Sexual and individual niche segregation was investigated in the Australian fur seal (Arctocephalus pusillus doriferus), which is a benthic foraging species restricted to the shallow continental shelf region of south-eastern Australia. Tracking data and the isotopic values of plasma, red blood cells and whiskers were combined to document spatial and dietary niche segregation throughout the year. Tracking data indicated that, in winter, males and females overlapped in their foraging habitat. All individuals stayed within central Bass Strait, relatively close (< 220 km) to the breeding colony. Accordingly, both genders exhibited similar plasma and red cell δ13C values. However, males exhibited greater δ13C intra-individual variation along the length of their whisker than females. This suggests that males exploited a greater diversity of foraging habitats throughout the year than their female counterparts, which are restricted in their foraging grounds by the need to regularly return to the breeding colony to suckle their pup. The degree of dietary sexual segregation was also surprisingly low, both sexes exhibiting a great overlap in their δ15N values. Yet, males displayed higher δ15N values than females, suggesting they fed upon a higher proportion of higher trophic level prey. Given that males and females exploit different resources (mainly foraging habitats), the degree of individual specialisation might differ between the sexes. Higher degrees of individual specialisation would be expected in males which exploit a greater range of resources. However, comparable levels of inter-individual variation in δ15N whisker values were found in the sampled males and females, and, surprisingly, all males exhibited similar seasonal and inter-annual variation in their δ13C whisker values, suggesting they

  10. Sexual Niche Segregation and Gender-Specific Individual Specialisation in a Highly Dimorphic Marine Mammal.

    PubMed

    Kernaléguen, Laëtitia; Cherel, Yves; Knox, Travis C; Baylis, Alastair M M; Arnould, John P Y

    2015-01-01

    While sexual segregation is expected in highly dimorphic species, the local environment is a major factor driving the degree of resource partitioning within a population. Sexual and individual niche segregation was investigated in the Australian fur seal (Arctocephalus pusillus doriferus), which is a benthic foraging species restricted to the shallow continental shelf region of south-eastern Australia. Tracking data and the isotopic values of plasma, red blood cells and whiskers were combined to document spatial and dietary niche segregation throughout the year. Tracking data indicated that, in winter, males and females overlapped in their foraging habitat. All individuals stayed within central Bass Strait, relatively close (< 220 km) to the breeding colony. Accordingly, both genders exhibited similar plasma and red cell δ13C values. However, males exhibited greater δ13C intra-individual variation along the length of their whisker than females. This suggests that males exploited a greater diversity of foraging habitats throughout the year than their female counterparts, which are restricted in their foraging grounds by the need to regularly return to the breeding colony to suckle their pup. The degree of dietary sexual segregation was also surprisingly low, both sexes exhibiting a great overlap in their δ15N values. Yet, males displayed higher δ15N values than females, suggesting they fed upon a higher proportion of higher trophic level prey. Given that males and females exploit different resources (mainly foraging habitats), the degree of individual specialisation might differ between the sexes. Higher degrees of individual specialisation would be expected in males which exploit a greater range of resources. However, comparable levels of inter-individual variation in δ15N whisker values were found in the sampled males and females, and, surprisingly, all males exhibited similar seasonal and inter-annual variation in their δ13C whisker values, suggesting they

  11. Spectral tuning in the eyes of deep-sea lanternfishes (Myctophidae): a novel sexually dimorphic intra-ocular filter.

    PubMed

    de Busserolles, Fanny; Hart, Nathan S; Hunt, David M; Davies, Wayne I; Marshall, N Justin; Clarke, Michael W; Hahne, Dorothee; Collin, Shaun P

    2015-01-01

    Deep-sea fishes possess several adaptations to facilitate vision where light detection is pushed to its limit. Lanternfishes (Myctophidae), one of the world's most abundant groups of mesopelagic fishes, possess a novel and unique visual specialisation, a sexually dimorphic photostable yellow pigmentation, constituting the first record of a visual sexual dimorphism in any non-primate vertebrate. The topographic distribution of the yellow pigmentation across the retina is species specific, varying in location, shape and size. Spectrophotometric analyses reveal that this new retinal specialisation differs between species in terms of composition and acts as a filter, absorbing maximally between 356 and 443 nm. Microspectrophotometry and molecular analyses indicate that the species containing this pigmentation also possess at least 2 spectrally distinct rod visual pigments as a result of a duplication of the Rh1 opsin gene. After modelling the effect of the yellow pigmentation on photoreceptor spectral sensitivity, we suggest that this unique specialisation acts as a filter to enhance contrast, thereby improving the detection of bioluminescent emissions and possibly fluorescence in the extreme environment of the deep sea. The fact that this yellow pigmentation is species specific, sexually dimorphic and isolated within specific parts of the retina indicates an evolutionary pressure to visualise prey/predators/mates in a particular part of each species' visual field. PMID:25766394

  12. Sexual Dimorphisms of Adrenal Steroids, Sex Hormones, and Immunological Biomarkers and Possible Risk Factors for Developing Rheumatoid Arthritis

    PubMed Central

    Masi, Alfonse T.; Rehman, Azeem A.; Jorgenson, Laura C.; Smith, Jennifer M.; Aldag, Jean C.

    2015-01-01

    Innate immunity and immunological biomarkers are believed to be interrelated with sex hormones and other neuroendocrine factors. Sexual dimorphism mechanisms may be operating in certain rheumatic and inflammatory diseases which occur more frequently in women than men, as rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Less data have been available on altered interrelations of the combined neuroendocrine and immune (NEI) systems as risk factors for development of certain diseases. In this study, serological interrelations of NEI biomarkers are analyzed before symptomatic onset of RA (pre-RA) versus control (CN) subjects, stratified by sex. Sexual dimorphism was found in serum levels of acute serum amyloid A (ASAA), soluble interleukin-2 receptor alpha (sIL-2Rα), and soluble tumor necrosis factor receptor 1 (sTNF-R1). Multiple steroidal and hormonal (neuroendocrine) factors also showed highly (p < 0.001) significant sexual dimorphism in their assayed values, but less for cortisol (p = 0.012), and not for 17-hydroxyprogesterone (p = 0.176). After stratification by sex and risk of developing RA, differential NEI correlational patterns were observed in the interplay of the NEI systems between the pre-RA and CN groups, which deserve further investigation. PMID:26693225

  13. Multivariate analysis of the sexual dimorphism of the hip bone in a modern human population and in early hominids.

    PubMed

    Arsuaga, J L; Carretero, J M

    1994-02-01

    A large sample of hip bones of known sex coming from one modern population is studied morphologically and by multivariate analysis to investigate sexual dimorphism patterns. A principal component analysis of raw data shows that a large amount of the hip bone sexual dimorphism is accounted for by size differences, but that sex-linked shape variation is also very conspicuous and cannot be considered an allometric consequence of differences in body size between the sexes. The PCA of transformed ("shape") variables indicates that the female hip bones are different in those traits associated with a relatively larger pelvic inlet (longer pubic bones, a greater degree of curvature of the iliopectineal line, and more posterior position of the auricular surface), as well as a broader sciatic notch. The analysis of nonmetric traits also shows marked sexual dimorphism in the position of the sacroiliac joint in the iliac bone, in the shape of the sciatic notch, in pubic morphology, and in the presence of the pre-auricular sulcus in females. When the australopithecine AL 288-1 and Sts 14 hip bones are included in the multivariate analysis, they appear as "ultra-females." In particular these early hominids exhibit extraordinarily long pubic bones and iliopectineal lines, which cannot be explained by allometry. PMID:8147439

  14. Sexually dimorphic effects of a prenatal immune challenge on social play and vasopressin expression in juvenile rats

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Infectious diseases and inflammation during pregnancy increase the offspring’s risk for behavioral disorders. However, how immune stress affects neural circuitry during development is not well known. We tested whether a prenatal immune challenge interferes with the development of social play and with neural circuits implicated in social behavior. Methods Pregnant rats were given intraperitoneal injections of the bacterial endotoxin lipopolysaccharide (LPS – 100 μg /kg) or saline on the 15th day of pregnancy. Offspring were tested for social play behaviors between postnatal days 26–40. Brains were harvested on postnatal day 45 and processed for arginine vasopressin (AVP) mRNA in situ hybridization. Results In males, LPS treatment reduced the frequency of juvenile play behavior and reduced AVP mRNA expression in the medial amygdala and bed nucleus of the stria terminalis. These effects were not found in females. LPS treatment did not change AVP mRNA expression in the suprachiasmatic nucleus, paraventricular nucleus, or supraoptic nucleus of either sex, nor did it affect the sex difference in the size of the sexually dimorphic nucleus of the preoptic area. Conclusions Given AVP’s central role in regulating social behavior, the sexually dimorphic effects of prenatal LPS treatment on male AVP mRNA expression may contribute to the sexually dimorphic effect of LPS on male social play and may, therefore, increase understanding of factors that contribute to sex differences in social psychopathology. PMID:22697211

  15. The sexually dimorphic nucleus of the preoptic area in the human brain: a comparative morphometric study.

    PubMed Central

    Hofman, M A; Swaab, D F

    1989-01-01

    The sexually dimorphic nucleus of the preoptic area (SDN-POA) in the human hypothalamus is an ovoid, densely packed collection of large cells. The size, shape and cellular morphology of the SDN-POA was examined in relation to sex and age in adult human subjects. In this region the following parameters were measured: length of the rostrocaudal axis, maximum cross-sectional area, volume, numerical cell density, total number of cells, and the diameter of the cell nucleus. The SDN-POA was elongated in females and more spherical in males. The mean volume and total cell number were markedly sexually dimorphic: the volume of the SDN-POA was 2.2 times as large in males as in females and contained 2.1 times as many cells. No sex differences were observed in either cell density or mean diameter of the cell nuclei. Furthermore, multivariate regression analysis revealed that there are also sex-linked differences in the structural organisation of the human SDN-POA, finding expression in the way the morphometric parameters are interrelated. Of the parameters measured, only the volume and cell number of the SDN-POA showed a dramatic decrease with ageing. The reduction in cell number, however, was not constant throughout adulthood but was found to depend upon sex and age. In males, a major reduction in SDN-POA cell number was observed between the age of 50-60 years. In females, cell death was found to be more prominent than in males, especially among old people (t greater than 70 years), dropping to values which were only 10-15% of the cell number found in early childhood. In conclusion, the human SDN-POA has a sex-dependent pattern of ageing. Finally, the morphology of the SDN-POA was compared with that of other hypothalamic regions--the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) and the paraventricular nucleus (PVN)--both in man and in rat. Species-specific differences in the dimensions of these nuclear regions are discussed in the light of their assumed functional significance. PMID:2606795

  16. Sexual Dimorphism in the Control of Amebic Liver Abscess in a Mouse Model of Disease

    PubMed Central

    Lotter, Hannelore; Jacobs, Thomas; Gaworski, Iris; Tannich, Egbert

    2006-01-01

    Amebic liver abscess (ALA) is the most common extraintestinal manifestation of human infection by the enteric protozoan parasite Entamoeba histolytica. In contrast to intestinal infection, ALA greatly predominates in males but is rare in females. Since humans are the only relevant host for E. histolytica, experimental studies concerning this sexual dimorphism have been hampered by the lack of a suitable animal model. By serial liver passage of cultured E. histolytica trophozoites in gerbils and mice, we generated amebae which reproducibly induce ALA in C57BL/6 mice. Interestingly, all animals developed ALA, but the time courses of abscess formation differed significantly between the genders. Female mice were able to clear the infection within 3 days, whereas in male mice the parasite could be recovered for at least 14 days. Accordingly, male mice showed a prolonged time of recovery from ALA. Immunohistology of abscesses revealed that polymorphonuclear leukocytes and macrophages were the dominant infiltrates, but in addition, γ,δ-T cells, NK cells, and natural killer T (NKT) cells were also present at early times during abscess development, whereas conventional α,β-T cells appeared later, when female mice had already cleared the parasite. Interestingly, male and female mice differed in early cytokine production in response to ameba infection. Enzyme-linked immunospot assays performed with spleen cells of infected animals revealed significantly higher numbers of interleukin-4-producing cells in male mice but significantly higher numbers of gamma interferon (IFN-γ)-producing cells in female mice. Early IFN-γ production and the presence of functional NKT cells were found to be important for the control of hepatic amebiasis as application of an IFN-γ-neutralizing monoclonal antibody or the use of NKT knockout mice (Vα14iNKT, Jα 18−/−) dramatically increased the size of ALA in female mice. In addition, E. histolytica trophozoites could be reisolated from

  17. Sexual dimorphism in the control of amebic liver abscess in a mouse model of disease.

    PubMed

    Lotter, Hannelore; Jacobs, Thomas; Gaworski, Iris; Tannich, Egbert

    2006-01-01

    Amebic liver abscess (ALA) is the most common extraintestinal manifestation of human infection by the enteric protozoan parasite Entamoeba histolytica. In contrast to intestinal infection, ALA greatly predominates in males but is rare in females. Since humans are the only relevant host for E. histolytica, experimental studies concerning this sexual dimorphism have been hampered by the lack of a suitable animal model. By serial liver passage of cultured E. histolytica trophozoites in gerbils and mice, we generated amebae which reproducibly induce ALA in C57BL/6 mice. Interestingly, all animals developed ALA, but the time courses of abscess formation differed significantly between the genders. Female mice were able to clear the infection within 3 days, whereas in male mice the parasite could be recovered for at least 14 days. Accordingly, male mice showed a prolonged time of recovery from ALA. Immunohistology of abscesses revealed that polymorphonuclear leukocytes and macrophages were the dominant infiltrates, but in addition, gamma,delta-T cells, NK cells, and natural killer T (NKT) cells were also present at early times during abscess development, whereas conventional alpha,beta-T cells appeared later, when female mice had already cleared the parasite. Interestingly, male and female mice differed in early cytokine production in response to ameba infection. Enzyme-linked immunospot assays performed with spleen cells of infected animals revealed significantly higher numbers of interleukin-4-producing cells in male mice but significantly higher numbers of gamma interferon (IFN-gamma)-producing cells in female mice. Early IFN-gamma production and the presence of functional NKT cells were found to be important for the control of hepatic amebiasis as application of an IFN-gamma-neutralizing monoclonal antibody or the use of NKT knockout mice (Valpha14iNKT, Jalpha 18(-/-)) dramatically increased the size of ALA in female mice. In addition, E. histolytica trophozoites

  18. Physiological basis of starvation resistance in Drosophila leontia: analysis of sexual dimorphism.

    PubMed

    Aggarwal, Dau Dayal

    2014-06-01

    Geographically varying starvation stress has often been considered as a natural selector that constrains between-population differences for starvation resistance (SR) in Drosophila species. On the Indian subcontinent, a dozen Drosophila species have shown clinal variations in SR across latitude, but the evolved physiological basis of such contrasting adaptations is largely unknown. In the present study, I untangled the physiological basis of sex-specific as well as between-population divergence for SR in D. leontia, collected across a latitudinal transect of the Indian subcontinent (11°45'-31°19'N). Secondly, I tested the assumptions that hardening to starvation stress facilitates an increased survival under subsequent lethal levels of starvation, and such plastic effects differ between the sexes. I observed several interesting results. In contrast to a steeper cline of starvation-related traits with latitude in females, a shallower gradient was observed for males. Females stored higher (~1.3-fold) dry-mass-specific levels of body lipids and glycogen contents, and utilized these both of these energy resources under starvation stress, whereas the starved males metabolized only body lipids as a source of energy. Conversely, the rate of body lipid utilization and threshold need were considerably higher in females as compared with males. Between-population differences were significant for storage levels of energy reserves only, but not for other avenues (rate of metabolite utilization and threshold need) of SR for both sexes. These findings indicate that multiple pathways shape the physiological basis of sexual dimorphism for SR in D. leontia. Further, single or multiple bouts of starvation hardening conferred an increased longevity (~4-9 h; P<0.001) under subsequent lethal levels of starvation stress for females only, and such plastic responses were consistent with a decrease in rate of metabolite utilization. Nevertheless, between-population effects were non

  19. Nonmyocytic androgen receptor regulates the sexually dimorphic development of the embryonic bulbocavernosus muscle.

    PubMed

    Ipulan, Lerrie Ann; Suzuki, Kentaro; Sakamoto, Yuki; Murashima, Aki; Imai, Yuuki; Omori, Akiko; Nakagata, Naomi; Nishinakamura, Ryuichi; Valasek, Petr; Yamada, Gen

    2014-07-01

    The bulbocavernosus (BC) is a sexually dimorphic muscle observed only in males. Androgen receptor knockout mouse studies show the loss of BC formation. This suggests that androgen signaling plays a vital role in its development. Androgen has been known to induce muscle hypertrophy through satellite cell activation and myonuclei accretion during muscle regeneration and growth. Whether the same mechanism is present during embryonic development is not yet elucidated. To identify the mechanism of sexual dimorphism during BC development, the timing of morphological differences was first established. It was revealed that the BC was morphologically different between male and female mice at embryonic day (E) 16.5. Differences in the myogenic process were detected at E15.5. The male BC possesses a higher number of proliferating undifferentiated myoblasts. To identify the role of androgen signaling in this process, muscle-specific androgen receptor (AR) mutation was introduced, which resulted in no observable phenotypes. Hence, the expression of AR in the BC was examined and found that the AR did not colocalize with any muscle markers such as Myogenic differentiation 1, Myogenin, and paired box transcription factor 7. It was revealed that the mesenchyme surrounding the BC expressed AR and the BC started to express AR at E15.5. AR mutation on the nonmyocytic cells using spalt-like transcription factor 1 (Sall1) Cre driver mouse was performed, which resulted in defective BC formation. It was revealed that the number of proliferating undifferentiated myoblasts was reduced in the Sall1 Cre:AR(L-/Y) mutant embryos, and the adult mutants were devoid of BC. The transition of myoblasts from proliferation to differentiation is mediated by cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors. An increased expression of p21 was observed in the BC myoblast of the Sall1 Cre:AR(L-/Y) mutant and wild-type female. Altogether this study suggests that the nonmyocytic AR may paracrinely regulate the

  20. Sexual dimorphism and hormone responsiveness in the spinal cord of the socially monogamous prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster).

    PubMed

    Holmes, Melissa M; Musa, Mutaz; Lonstein, Joseph S; Monks, D Ashley

    2009-09-10

    Prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) are exceptional among rodents in that many aspects of their brain and behavior are not masculinized by exogenous aromatizable androgens. However, the sexually differentiated endpoints studied to date rely on estrogenic mechanisms in other mammals. We examined whether sexual differentiation of an androgen receptor-dependent sex difference would be similarly distinct in prairie voles. Male mammals have more and larger motoneurons projecting to perineal muscles than do females. This sex difference normally arises from males' perinatal androgen exposure and can be eliminated by treating developing females with androgens. Gross dissection revealed bulbospongiosus muscles in adult male, but not female, prairie voles. Retrograde tracing from males' bulbocavernosus muscles and the external anal sphincter from both sexes revealed sexually dimorphic populations of labeled motoneurons in the ventral horn of the lumbar spinal cord. Similar to other rodents, males had twice as many motoneurons as females, although no sex difference in motoneuron size was detected. Unexpectedly, prenatal or early postnatal exposure to testosterone propionate had no effect on adult females' motoneuron number or size. In adulthood, gonadectomy alone or followed by chronic testosterone treatment also had no effect on females' motoneuron size or number, although castration reduced motoneuron size in males. Comparing gonadally intact weanlings confirmed that the sex difference in motoneuron number exists before adulthood. As with some other sexually dimorphic traits, and perhaps related to their unique social organization, sexual differentiation of the prairie vole spinal cord differs from that found in most other laboratory rodents. PMID:19575447

  1. Sexual dimorphism in intra- and interspecific competitive ability of the dioecious herb Mercurialis annua.

    PubMed

    Sánchez-Vilas, J; Turner, A; Pannell, J R

    2011-01-01

    Males and females of dioecious plant species often show different responses to competition with individuals of the same or opposite gender, but almost no data are available on the outcome of competition with members of other species. Here, we show that male and female individuals of the wind-pollinated herb Mercurialis annua are sexually dimorphic in both their intraspecific and interspecific competitive abilities. In a controlled experiment, we found that both sexes of M. annua were negatively affected by interspecific competition, but the sensitivity of males and females depended on the identity of their competitor species, with females tending to suppress the aboveground growth of competitor species more than males. Further, we found that intrasexual and intersexual competition affected the aboveground growth of males but not that of females: only males showed a significant reduction in growth when growing with conspecific competitors (male or female). We discuss our results with reference to related studies that suggest that males and females of M. annua have different resource requirements for reproduction, which in turn affect their competitive abilities. PMID:21186695

  2. THE DEVELOPMENT OF SEXUAL DIMORPHISM: STUDIES OF THE C. ELEGANS MALE

    PubMed Central

    Emmons, Scott W.

    2014-01-01

    Studies of the development of the C. elegans male have been carried out with the aim of understanding the basis of sexual dimorphism. Postembryonic development of the two C. elegans sexes differs extensively. Development along either the hermaphrodite or male pathway is specified initially by the X to autosome ratio. The regulatory events initiated by this ratio include a male-determining paracrine intercellular signal. Expression of this signal leads to different consequences in three regions of the body: the non-gonadal soma, the somatic parts of the gonad, and the germ line. In the non-gonadal soma, activity of the key Zn-finger transcription factor TRA 1 determines hermaphrodite development; in its absence, the male pathway is followed. Only a few genes directly regulated by TRA 1 are currently known, including members of the evolutionarily conserved, male-determining DM domain Zn-finger transcription factors. In the somatic parts of the gonad and germ line, absence of TRA 1 activity is not sufficient for full expression of the male pathway. Several additional transcription factors involved have been identified. In the germ line, regulatory genes for sperm development that act at the level of RNA in the cytoplasm play a prominent role. PMID:25262817

  3. Sexual dimorphism and allometry in the sphecophilous rove beetle Triacrus dilatus

    PubMed Central

    Marlowe, Maxwell H.; Murphy, Cheryl A.

    2015-01-01

    The rove beetle Triacrus dilatus is found in the Atlantic forest of South America and lives in the refuse piles of the paper wasp Agelaia vicina. Adults of T. dilatus are among the largest rove beetles, frequently measuring over 3 cm, and exhibit remarkable variation in body size. To examine sexual dimorphism and allometric relationships we measured the length of the left mandible, ocular distance and elytra. We were interested in determining if there are quantifiable differences between sexes, if there are major and minor forms within each sex and if males exhibit mandibular allometry. For all variables, a t-test was run to determine if there were significant differences between the sexes. Linear regressions were run to examine if there were significant relationships between the different measurements. A heterogeneity of slopes test was used to determine if there were significant differences between males and females. Our results indicated that males had significantly larger mandibles and ocular distances than females, but the overall body length was not significantly different between the sexes. Unlike most insects, both sexes showed positive linear allometric relationships for mandible length and head size (as measured by the ocular distance). We found no evidence of major and minor forms in either sex. PMID:26246969

  4. The Genome of Winter Moth (Operophtera brumata) Provides a Genomic Perspective on Sexual Dimorphism and Phenology.

    PubMed

    Derks, Martijn F L; Smit, Sandra; Salis, Lucia; Schijlen, Elio; Bossers, Alex; Mateman, Christa; Pijl, Agata S; de Ridder, Dick; Groenen, Martien A M; Visser, Marcel E; Megens, Hendrik-Jan

    2015-08-01

    The winter moth (Operophtera brumata) belongs to one of the most species-rich families in Lepidoptera, the Geometridae (approximately 23,000 species). This family is of great economic importance as most species are herbivorous and capable of defoliating trees. Genome assembly of the winter moth allows the study of genes and gene families, such as the cytochrome P450 gene family, which is known to be vital in plant secondary metabolite detoxification and host-plant selection. It also enables exploration of the genomic basis for female brachyptery (wing reduction), a feature of sexual dimorphism in winter moth, and for seasonal timing, a trait extensively studied in this species. Here we present a reference genome for the winter moth, the first geometrid and largest sequenced Lepidopteran genome to date (638 Mb) including a set of 16,912 predicted protein-coding genes. This allowed us to assess the dynamics of evolution on a genome-wide scale using the P450 gene family. We also identified an expanded gene family potentially linked to female brachyptery, and annotated the genes involved in the circadian clock mechanism as main candidates for involvement in seasonal timing. The genome will contribute to Lepidopteran genomic resources and comparative genomics. In addition, the genome enhances our ability to understand the genetic and molecular basis of insect seasonal timing and thereby provides a reference for future evolutionary and population studies on the winter moth. PMID:26227816

  5. Taxonomy of the Proisotoma complex. V. Sexually dimorphic Ephemerotoma gen. nov. (Collembola: Isotomidae).

    PubMed

    Potapov, Mikhail; Kahrarian, Morteza; Deharveng, Louis; Shayanmehr, Masoumeh

    2015-01-01

    A new genus is proposed based on a new species from Iran, Ephemerotoma skarzynskii gen. et sp. nov., and three known species: E. huadongensis (Chen, 1985) comb. nov., E. multituberculata (Martynova, 1971) comb. nov. and E. porcella (Ellis, 1976) comb. nov. The genus shares the characters of Subisotoma Stach and Proctostephanus Börner and is distributed in southern areas of Eurasia (Eastern Mediterranean, Iran, Tajikistan, China). Ephemerotoma gen. nov. belongs to the Proisotoma-complex and is characterized by a simple maxillary palp, only 4 guards on labial papilla E and 2 prelabral chaetae. Four s-chaetae on Abd.V are arranged in two rows, two anterior and two posterior chaetae. All members of Ephemerotoma gen. nov. are redescribed or discussed based on type or fresh material, and a key to species of the genus is given. Scutisotoma potapovi Xie & Chen, 2008 is considered a synonym of E. huadongensis, while Proisotoma anopolitana is moved to the genus Proctostephanus. Sexual dimorphism is described for three species. PMID:26701434

  6. Placental contribution to nutritional programming of health and diseases: epigenetics and sexual dimorphism.

    PubMed

    Tarrade, Anne; Panchenko, Polina; Junien, Claudine; Gabory, Anne

    2015-01-01

    The recent and rapid worldwide increase in non-communicable diseases challenges the assumption that genetic factors are the primary contributors to such diseases. A new concept of the 'developmental origins of health and disease' (DOHaD) is at stake and therefore requires a paradigm shift. Maternal obesity and malnutrition predispose offspring to develop metabolic syndrome, a vicious cycle leading to transmission to subsequent generation(s), with differences in response and susceptibility according to the sex of the individual. The placenta is a programming agent of adult health and disease. Adaptations of placental phenotype in response to maternal diet and metabolic status alter fetal nutrient supply. This implies important epigenetic changes that are, however, still poorly documented in DOHaD studies, particularly concerning overnutrition. The aim of this review is to discuss the emerging knowledge on the relationships between the effect of maternal nutrition or metabolic status on placental function and the risk of diseases later in life, with a specific focus on epigenetic mechanisms and sexual dimorphism. Explaining the sex-specific causal variables and how males versus females respond and adapt to environmental perturbations should help physicians and patients to anticipate disease susceptibility. PMID:25568451

  7. Large-Scale Age-Dependent Skewed Sex Ratio in a Sexually Dimorphic Avian Scavenger

    PubMed Central

    Lambertucci, Sergio A.; Carrete, Martina; Donázar, José Antonio; Hiraldo, Fernando

    2012-01-01

    Age-dependent skewed sex ratios have been observed in bird populations, with adult males generally outnumbering females. This trend is mainly driven by higher female mortality, sometimes associated with anthropogenic factors. Despite the large amount of work on bird sex ratios, research examining the spatial stability of adult sex ratios is extremely scarce. The Andean condor (Vultur gryphus) is the only bird of prey with strong sexual dimorphism favouring males (males are 30% heavier than females). By examining data from most of its South-American range, we show that while the juvenile sex ratio is balanced, or even female-skewed, the sex ratio becomes increasing male-skewed with age, with adult males outnumbering females by >20%, and, in some cases by four times more. This result is consistent across regions and independent of the nature of field data. Reasons for this are unknown but it can be hypothesized that the progressive disappearance of females may be associated with mortality caused by anthropogenic factors. This idea is supported by the asymmetric habitat use by the two sexes, with females scavenging in more humanized areas. Whatever the cause, male-skewed adult sex ratios imply that populations of this endangered scavenger face higher risks of extinction than previously believed. PMID:23029488

  8. Phenotypic Variation and Sexual Size Dimorphism in Dichroplus elongatus (Orthoptera: Acrididae).

    PubMed

    Rosetti, N; Remis, M I

    2015-08-01

    Patterns of body size evolution are of particular interest because body size can affect virtually all the physiological and life history traits of an organism. Sexual size dimorphism (SSD), a difference in body size between males and females, is a widespread phenomenon in insects. Much of the variation in SSD is genetically based and likely due to differential selection acting on males and females. The importance of environmental variables and evolutionary processes affecting phenotypeic variation in both sexes may be useful to gain insights into insect ecology and evolution. Dichroplus elongatus Giglio-Tos is a South American grasshopper widely distributed throughout Argentina, Uruguay, most of Chile, and southern Brazil. In this study, we analyzed 122 adult females of D. elongatus collected in eight natural populations from central-east Argentina. Females show large body size variation among the analyzed populations and this variation exhibits a strong relationship with fecundity. Our results have shown that larger females were more fecund than smaller ones. We found that ovariole number varied along a latitudinal gradient, with higher ovariole numbers in populations from warmer locations. A considerable female-biased SSD was detected. SSD for three analyzed morphometric traits scaled isometrically. However, SSD for thorax length displayed a considerable variation across the studied area, indicating a larger relative increase in female size than in male size in warmer environmental conditions. PMID:26314070

  9. Sexual size dimorphism in the evolutionary context of facultative paedomorphosis: insights from European newts

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background Sexual size dimorphism (SSD) is a key evolutionary feature that has been studied in many organisms. In a wide range of species, this pattern is more complex because of polymorphism within each sex. However, it is not known whether the magnitude and direction of SSD could be affected by alternative developmental trajectories within sexes. Our aim was to test whether an intrasexual polymorphism, facultative paedomorphosis (a process in which the development of somatic and gonadal tissues differs in alternative morphs), could affect SSD variation patterns in European newts. Results We report here the first evidence that SSD varies depending on the paedomorphic or metamorphic ontogenetic pathway. In species with a consistent female-biased SSD, paedomorphosis decreased the SSD level, but did not affect its direction. In species with moderate female-biased SSD or variable SSD patterns, paedomorphosis changed the magnitude, or both the magnitude and the direction, of SSD. Conclusion Our study highlights the importance of developmental processes for shaping SSD patterns in populations in which contrasting life-history pathways evolved. European newts express different SSD patterns depending on their developmental pathway (i.e., metamorphosis versus paedomorphosis), as well as their species and population. These findings emphasize the importance of studying alternative morphotypes, which are found in a wide range of animal groups, to understand the evolution of SSD. PMID:19954520

  10. Germ cells are essential for sexual dimorphism in the medaka gonad

    PubMed Central

    Kurokawa, Hiromi; Saito, Daisuke; Nakamura, Shuhei; Katoh-Fukui, Yuko; Ohta, Kohei; Baba, Takashi; Morohashi, Ken-ichiro; Tanaka, Minoru

    2007-01-01

    To further elucidate the roles of germ cells in the sex differentiation of gonads, we have used the medaka, a teleost fish, to generate mutants that lack germ cells from the onset of gonadogenesis by the morpholino-mediated knockdown of cxcr4. The resulting germ-cell-deficient medaka show female-to-male sex reversal of their secondary sex characteristics, accompanied by increased levels of androgen and reduced levels of estrogen. A failure to maintain granulosa cells or estrogen-producing cells also occurs at early stages of sex differentiation in the cxcr4 morphants, before the initiation of gonadal morphogenesis. In contrast, androgen-producing cells are unaffected in germ-cell-deficient medaka of either sex. In addition, a single tube-like gonad that expresses male-specific genes is formed in these mutants irrespective of the genetic sex. Significantly, each of these mutant phenotypes occurs in a somatic cell-autonomous manner, suggesting that gonadal somatic cells are predisposed toward male development in the absence of germ cells. This highlights the importance of germ cells in the sexual dimorphism of the gonads. PMID:17940041

  11. Female dominance over males in primates: self-organisation and sexual dimorphism.

    PubMed

    Hemelrijk, Charlotte K; Wantia, Jan; Isler, Karin

    2008-01-01

    The processes that underlie the formation of the dominance hierarchy in a group are since long under debate. Models of self-organisation suggest that dominance hierarchies develop by the self-reinforcing effects of winning and losing fights (the so-called winner-loser effect), but according to 'the prior attribute hypothesis', dominance hierarchies develop from pre-existing individual differences, such as in body mass. In the present paper, we investigate the relevance of each of these two theories for the degree of female dominance over males. We investigate this in a correlative study in which we compare female dominance between groups of 22 species throughout the primate order. In our study female dominance may range from 0 (no female dominance) to 1 (complete female dominance). As regards 'the prior attribute hypothesis', we expected a negative correlation between female dominance over males and species-specific sexual dimorphism in body mass. However, to our surprise we found none (we use the method of independent contrasts). Instead, we confirm the self-organisation hypothesis: our model based on the winner-loser effect predicts that female dominance over males increases with the percentage of males in the group. We confirm this pattern at several levels in empirical data (among groups of a single species and between species of the same genus and of different ones). Since the winner-loser effect has been shown to work in many taxa including humans, these results may have broad implications. PMID:18628830

  12. Sexually dimorphic brain volume interaction in college-aged binge drinkers

    PubMed Central

    Kvamme, Timo L.; Schmidt, Casper; Strelchuk, Daniela; Chang-Webb, Yee Chien; Baek, Kwangyeol; Voon, Valerie

    2015-01-01

    Background Binge consumption of alcohol is a major societal problem associated with important cognitive, physiological and neurotoxic consequences. Converging evidence highlights the need to assess binge drinking (BD) and its effects on the developing brain while taking into account gender differences. Here, we compared the brain volumetric differences between genders in college-aged binge drinkers and healthy volunteers. Method T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) images of 30 binge drinkers (18 males) and 46 matched healthy volunteers (23 males) were examined using voxel-based morphometry. The anatomical scans were covaried with Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) scores. Whole brain voxel-wise group comparisons were performed using a cluster extent threshold correction. Results Several large clusters qualified with group-by-gender interactions were observed in prefrontal, striatal and medial temporal areas, whereby BD females had more volume than non-BD females, while males showed the inverse pattern of decreased volume in BD males and increased volume in non-BD males. AUDIT scores negatively correlated with volume in the right superior frontal cortex and precentral gyrus. Conclusions These findings dovetail with previous studies reporting that a state effect of BD in college-aged drinkers and the severity of alcohol use are associated with volumetric alterations in the cortical and subcortical areas of the brain. Our study indicates that these widespread volumetric changes vary differentially by gender, suggesting either sexual dimorphic endophenotypic risk factors, or differential neurotoxic sensitivities for males and females. PMID:26900571

  13. Nicotine-induced acute hyperactivity is mediated by dopaminergic system in a sexually dimorphic manner.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yunpeng; Guo, Jing; Guo, Aike; Li, Yan

    2016-09-22

    Short-term exposure to nicotine induces positive effects in mice, monkeys and humans, including mild euphoria, hyperactivity, and enhanced cognition. However, the underlying neural basis and molecular mechanisms for these effects remain poorly understood. Here, using a video recording system, we find that acute nicotine administration induces locomotor hyperactivity in Drosophila, similar to observations made in higher model organisms. Suppressing dopaminergic neurons or down-regulating dopamine 1-like receptor (DopR) abolishes this acute nicotine response, but surprisingly, does so only in male flies. Using a GFP reconstitution across synaptic partners (GRASP) approach, we show that dopaminergic neurons possess potential synaptic connections with acetylcholinergic neurons in wide regions of the brain. Furthermore, dopaminergic neurons are widely activated upon nicotine perfusion in both sexes, while the response curve differs significantly between the sexes. Moreover, knockdown of the β1 nicotine acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) in dopaminergic neurons abolishes the acute nicotine response only in male flies, while panneural knock-down occurs in both sexes. Taken together, our results reveal that in fruit flies, dopaminergic neurons mediate nicotine-induced acute locomotor hyperactivity in a sexually dimorphic manner, and Drosophila β1 nAChR subunit plays a crucial role in this nicotine response. These findings provide important insights into the molecular and neural basis of acute nicotine effects, and the underlying mechanisms may play conserved roles across species. PMID:27365175

  14. Catechol-O-methyltransferase-deficient mice exhibit sexually dimorphic changes in catecholamine levels and behavior.

    PubMed

    Gogos, J A; Morgan, M; Luine, V; Santha, M; Ogawa, S; Pfaff, D; Karayiorgou, M

    1998-08-18

    Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) is one of the major mammalian enzymes involved in the metabolic degradation of catecholamines and is considered a candidate for several psychiatric disorders and symptoms, including the psychopathology associated with the 22q11 microdeletion syndrome. By means of homologous recombination in embryonic stem cells, a strain of mice in which the gene encoding the COMT enzyme has been disrupted was produced. The basal concentrations of brain catecholamines were measured in the striatum, frontal cortex, and hypothalamus of adult male and female mutants. Locomotor activity, anxiety-like behaviors, sensorimotor gating, and aggressive behavior also were analyzed. Mutant mice demonstrated sexually dimorphic and region-specific changes of dopamine levels, notably in the frontal cortex. In addition, homozygous COMT-deficient female (but not male) mice displayed impairment in emotional reactivity in the dark/light exploratory model of anxiety. Furthermore, heterozygous COMT-deficient male mice exhibited increased aggressive behavior. Our results provide conclusive evidence for an important sex- and region-specific contribution of COMT in the maintenance of steady-state levels of catecholamines in the brain and suggest a role for COMT in some aspects of emotional and social behavior in mice. PMID:9707588

  15. Sexual Dimorphism of Adipose and Hepatic Aquaglyceroporins in Health and Metabolic Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Rodríguez, Amaia; Marinelli, Raul A.; Tesse, Angela; Frühbeck, Gema; Calamita, Giuseppe

    2015-01-01

    Gender differences in the relative risk of developing metabolic complications, such as insulin resistance or non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), have been reported. The deregulation of glycerol metabolism partly contributes to the onset of these metabolic diseases, since glycerol constitutes a key substrate for the synthesis of triacylglycerols (TAGs) as well as for hepatic gluconeogenesis. The present mini-review covers the sex-­related differences in glycerol metabolism and aquaglyceroporins (AQPs) and its impact in the control of adipose and hepatic fat accumulation as well as in whole-body glucose homeostasis. Plasma glycerol concentrations are increased in women compared to men probably due to the higher lipolytic rate and larger AQP7 amounts in visceral fat as well as the well-known sexual dimorphism in fat mass with women showing higher adiposity. AQP9 represents the primary route for glycerol uptake in hepatocytes, where glycerol is converted by the glycerol-kinase enzyme into glycerol-3-phosphate, a key substrate for de novo synthesis of glucose and TAG. In spite of showing similar hepatic AQP9 protein, women exhibit lower hepatocyte glycerol permeability than men, which might contribute to their lower prevalence of insulin resistance and NAFLD. PMID:26594198

  16. Female Dominance over Males in Primates: Self-Organisation and Sexual Dimorphism

    PubMed Central

    Hemelrijk, Charlotte K.; Wantia, Jan; Isler, Karin

    2008-01-01

    The processes that underlie the formation of the dominance hierarchy in a group are since long under debate. Models of self-organisation suggest that dominance hierarchies develop by the self-reinforcing effects of winning and losing fights (the so-called winner-loser effect), but according to ‘the prior attribute hypothesis’, dominance hierarchies develop from pre-existing individual differences, such as in body mass. In the present paper, we investigate the relevance of each of these two theories for the degree of female dominance over males. We investigate this in a correlative study in which we compare female dominance between groups of 22 species throughout the primate order. In our study female dominance may range from 0 (no female dominance) to 1 (complete female dominance). As regards ‘the prior attribute hypothesis’, we expected a negative correlation between female dominance over males and species-specific sexual dimorphism in body mass. However, to our surprise we found none (we use the method of independent contrasts). Instead, we confirm the self-organisation hypothesis: our model based on the winner-loser effect predicts that female dominance over males increases with the percentage of males in the group. We confirm this pattern at several levels in empirical data (among groups of a single species and between species of the same genus and of different ones). Since the winner-loser effect has been shown to work in many taxa including humans, these results may have broad implications. PMID:18628830

  17. Thermoregulation as an alternate function of the sexually dimorphic fiddler crab claw.

    PubMed

    Darnell, M Zachary; Munguia, Pablo

    2011-09-01

    Fiddler crabs are highly sexually dimorphic. Males possess one small (minor) feeding claw and one greatly enlarged (major) claw; females possess two small claws. The major claw is used to attract mates and for burrow defense, but it is costly for the male to possess. We tested the hypothesis that the major claw also functions as a thermoregulatory structure, a function that would allow males to spend a greater amount of time at the surface, foraging and attracting potential mates. Fiddler crabs Uca panacea were exposed to a source of radiant heat and body temperatures were monitored. Four groups of crabs were tested: intact males, males with the minor claw removed, males with the major claw removed, and females. The body temperatures of males without the major claw increased more rapidly and reached higher values than did those of males with the major claw intact, but the results from these animals were similar to those of females. These results support the hypothesized thermoregulatory function of the major claw. The major claw may function as a heat sink, transferring heat away from the body and dissipating it into the air. Enhanced thermoregulatory ability provided by the major claw may partially ameliorate the energetic costs of possessing such a large claw. PMID:21828997

  18. Antenatal Glucocorticoid Treatment Induces Adaptations in Adult Midbrain Dopamine Neurons, which Underpin Sexually Dimorphic Behavioral Resilience

    PubMed Central

    Virdee, Kanwar; McArthur, Simon; Brischoux, Frédéric; Caprioli, Daniele; Ungless, Mark A; Robbins, Trevor W; Dalley, Jeffrey W; Gillies, Glenda E

    2014-01-01

    We demonstrated previously that antenatal glucocorticoid treatment (AGT, gestational days 16–19) altered the size and organization of the adult rat midbrain dopaminergic (DA) populations. Here we investigated the consequences of these AGT-induced cytoarchitectural disturbances on indices of DA function in adult rats. We show that in adulthood, enrichment of striatal DA fiber density paralleled AGT-induced increases in the numbers of midbrain DA neurons, which retained normal basal electrophysiological properties. This was co-incident with changes in (i) striatal D2-type receptor levels (increased, both sexes); (ii) D1-type receptor levels (males decreased; females increased); (iii) DA transporter levels (males increased; females decreased) in striatal regions; and (iv) amphetamine-induced mesolimbic DA release (males increased; females decreased). However, despite these profound, sexually dimorphic changes in markers of DA neurotransmission, in-utero glucocorticoid overexposure had a modest or no effect on a range of conditioned and unconditioned appetitive behaviors known to depend on mesolimbic DA activity. These findings provide empirical evidence for enduring AGT-induced adaptive mechanisms within the midbrain DA circuitry, which preserve some, but not all, functions, thereby casting further light on the vulnerability of these systems to environmental perturbations. Furthermore, they demonstrate these effects are achieved by different, often opponent, adaptive mechanisms in males and females, with translational implications for sex biases commonly found in midbrain DA-associated disorders. PMID:23929547

  19. Sexually dimorphic responses to fat loss after caloric restriction or surgical lipectomy.

    PubMed

    Shi, Haifei; Strader, April D; Woods, Stephen C; Seeley, Randy J

    2007-07-01

    White adipose tissue is the principal site for lipid accumulation. Males and females maintain distinctive white adipose tissue distribution patterns. Specifically, males tend to accumulate relatively more visceral fat, whereas females accumulate relatively more subcutaneous fat. The phenomenon of maintaining typical sex-specific fat distributions suggests sex-specific mechanisms that regulate energy balance and adiposity. We used two distinct approaches to reduce fat mass, caloric restriction (CR), and surgical fat removal (termed lipectomy) and assessed parameters involved in the regulation of energy balance. We found that male and female mice responded differentially to CR- and to lipectomy-induced fat loss. Females decreased energy expenditure during CR or after lipectomy. In contrast, males responded by eating more food during food return after CR or after lipectomy. Female CR mice conserved subcutaneous fat, whereas male CR mice lost adiposity equally in the subcutaneous and visceral depots. In addition, female mice had a reduced capability to restore visceral fat after fat loss. After CR, plasma leptin levels decreased in male but not in female mice. The failure to increase food intake after returning to ad libitum intake in females could be due to the relatively stable levels of leptin. In summary, we have found sexual dimorphisms in the response to fat loss that point to important underlying differences in the strategies by which male and female mice regulate body weight. PMID:17426110

  20. The Genome of Winter Moth (Operophtera brumata) Provides a Genomic Perspective on Sexual Dimorphism and Phenology

    PubMed Central

    Derks, Martijn F.L.; Smit, Sandra; Salis, Lucia; Schijlen, Elio; Bossers, Alex; Mateman, Christa; Pijl, Agata S.; de Ridder, Dick; Groenen, Martien A.M.; Visser, Marcel E.; Megens, Hendrik-Jan

    2015-01-01

    The winter moth (Operophtera brumata) belongs to one of the most species-rich families in Lepidoptera, the Geometridae (approximately 23,000 species). This family is of great economic importance as most species are herbivorous and capable of defoliating trees. Genome assembly of the winter moth allows the study of genes and gene families, such as the cytochrome P450 gene family, which is known to be vital in plant secondary metabolite detoxification and host-plant selection. It also enables exploration of the genomic basis for female brachyptery (wing reduction), a feature of sexual dimorphism in winter moth, and for seasonal timing, a trait extensively studied in this species. Here we present a reference genome for the winter moth, the first geometrid and largest sequenced Lepidopteran genome to date (638 Mb) including a set of 16,912 predicted protein-coding genes. This allowed us to assess the dynamics of evolution on a genome-wide scale using the P450 gene family. We also identified an expanded gene family potentially linked to female brachyptery, and annotated the genes involved in the circadian clock mechanism as main candidates for involvement in seasonal timing. The genome will contribute to Lepidopteran genomic resources and comparative genomics. In addition, the genome enhances our ability to understand the genetic and molecular basis of insect seasonal timing and thereby provides a reference for future evolutionary and population studies on the winter moth. PMID:26227816

  1. Evolution of Asparagus L. (Asparagaceae): Out-of-South-Africa and multiple origins of sexual dimorphism.

    PubMed

    Norup, Maria F; Petersen, Gitte; Burrows, Sandie; Bouchenak-Khelladi, Yanis; Leebens-Mack, Jim; Pires, J Chris; Linder, H Peter; Seberg, Ole

    2015-11-01

    In the most comprehensive study to date we explored the phylogeny and evolution of the genus Asparagus, with emphasis on the southern African species. We included 211 accessions, representing 77 (92%) of the southern African, 6 (17%) of the tropical African, 10 (56%) of the strictly European and 6 (9%) of the Eurasian species. We analyzed DNA sequences from three plastid regions (trnH-psbA, trnD-T, ndhF) and from the nuclear region phytochrome C (PHYC) with parsimony and maximum likelihood methods, and recovered a monophyletic Asparagus. The phylogeny conflicts with all previous infra-generic classifications. It has many strongly supported clades, corroborated by morphological characters, which may provide a basis for a revised taxonomy. Additionally, the phylogeny indicates that many of the current species delimitations are problematic. Using biogeographic analyses that account for phylogenetic uncertainty (S-DIVA) and take into account relative branch lengths (Lagrange) we confirm the origin of Asparagus in southern Africa, and find no evidence that the dispersal of Asparagus follow the Rand flora pattern. We find that all truly dioecious species of Asparagus share a common origin, but that sexual dimorphism has arisen independently several times. PMID:26079131

  2. An Assessment of Sexual Dimorphism in Relation to Facial Asymmetry in Esthetically Pleasing Faces

    PubMed Central

    Rajpara, Yagnesh; Shyagali, Tarulatha R.

    2015-01-01

    Objective: The aim of the study is to detect gender-wise difference in the skeletal asymmetry in the esthetically pleasing faces. Materials and methods: a cross sectional study was conducted on 25 females and 25 males of age 18 -25 years using the posterior-anterior cephalograms. The selected part of grummon’s frontal analysis for analyzing the vertical skeletal asymmetries, mandibular morphology, transverse asymmetry and mandibular deviation was used. The obtained data was subjected to independent student’s‘t’ test for comparing the difference between males and females. Results: there was statistically significant difference between the males and females for the measurements like Gonion-Menton length for the mandibular morphology and for the transverse parameters like zygomatico frontal suture length, jular length and antegonial notch length. There was no significant difference for the sidedness of asymmetry for the males and females. Conclusion: frontal facial asymmetry showed sexual dimorphism with males showing greater asymmetric values than the females. The asymmetry showed right sided prominence for both the males and females. This knowledge can be utilized for planning facial reconstruction and remodeling surgeries. PMID:25870491

  3. Cell Type-Specific Sexual Dimorphism in Rat Pituitary Gene Expression During Maturation.

    PubMed

    Bjelobaba, Ivana; Janjic, Marija M; Kucka, Marek; Stojilkovic, Stanko S

    2015-07-01

    The most obvious functional differences between mammalian males and females are related to the control of reproductive physiology and include patterns of GnRH and gonadotropin release, the timing of puberty, sexual and social behavior, and the regulation of food intake and body weight. Using the rat as the best-studied mammalian model for maturation, we examined the expression of major anterior pituitary genes in five secretory cell types of developing males and females. Corticotrophs show comparable Pomc profiles in both sexes, with the highest expression occurring during the infantile period. Somatotrophs and lactotrophs also exhibit no difference in Gh1 and Prl profiles during embryonic to juvenile age but show the amplification of Prl expression in females and Gh1 expression in males during peripubertal and postpubertal ages. Gonadotrophs exhibit highly synchronized Lhb, Fshb, Cga, and Gnrhr expression in both sexes, but the peak of expression occurs during the infantile period in females and at the end of the juvenile period in males. Thyrotrophs also show different developmental Tshb profiles, which are synchronized with the expression of gonadotroph genes in males but not in females. These results indicate the lack of influence of sex on Pomc expression and the presence of two patterns of sexual dimorphism in the expression of other pituitary genes: a time shift in the peak expression during postnatal development, most likely reflecting the perinatal sex-specific brain differentiation, and modulation of the amplitude of expression during late development, which is secondary to the establishment of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal and -thyroid axes. PMID:26063874

  4. Sexual dimorphism in the human olfactory bulb: females have more neurons and glial cells than males.

    PubMed

    Oliveira-Pinto, Ana V; Santos, Raquel M; Coutinho, Renan A; Oliveira, Lays M; Santos, Gláucia B; Alho, Ana T L; Leite, Renata E P; Farfel, José M; Suemoto, Claudia K; Grinberg, Lea T; Pasqualucci, Carlos A; Jacob-Filho, Wilson; Lent, Roberto

    2014-01-01

    Sex differences in the human olfactory function reportedly exist for olfactory sensitivity, odorant identification and memory, and tasks in which odors are rated based on psychological features such as familiarity, intensity, pleasantness, and others. Which might be the neural bases for these behavioral differences? The number of cells in olfactory regions, and especially the number of neurons, may represent a more accurate indicator of the neural machinery than volume or weight, but besides gross volume measures of the human olfactory bulb, no systematic study of sex differences in the absolute number of cells has yet been undertaken. In this work, we investigate a possible sexual dimorphism in the olfactory bulb, by quantifying postmortem material from 7 men and 11 women (ages 55-94 years) with the isotropic fractionator, an unbiased and accurate method to estimate absolute cell numbers in brain regions. Female bulbs weighed 0.132 g in average, while male bulbs weighed 0.137 g, a non-significant difference; however, the total number of cells was 16.2 million in females, and 9.2 million in males, a significant difference of 43.2%. The number of neurons in females reached 6.9 million, being no more than 3.5 million in males, a difference of 49.3%. The number of non-neuronal cells also proved higher in women than in men: 9.3 million and 5.7 million, respectively, a significant difference of 38.7%. The same differences remained when corrected for mass. Results demonstrate a sex-related difference in the absolute number of total, neuronal and non-neuronal cells, favoring women by 40-50%. It is conceivable that these differences in quantitative cellularity may have functional impact, albeit difficult to infer how exactly this would be, without knowing the specific circuits cells make. However, the reported advantage of women as compared to men may stimulate future work on sex dimorphism of synaptic microcircuitry in the olfactory bulb. PMID:25372872

  5. Sexual Dimorphism in the Human Olfactory Bulb: Females Have More Neurons and Glial Cells than Males

    PubMed Central

    Oliveira-Pinto, Ana V.; Santos, Raquel M.; Coutinho, Renan A.; Oliveira, Lays M.; Santos, Gláucia B.; Alho, Ana T. L.; Leite, Renata E. P.; Farfel, José M.; Suemoto, Claudia K.; Grinberg, Lea T.; Pasqualucci, Carlos A.; Jacob-Filho, Wilson; Lent, Roberto

    2014-01-01

    Sex differences in the human olfactory function reportedly exist for olfactory sensitivity, odorant identification and memory, and tasks in which odors are rated based on psychological features such as familiarity, intensity, pleasantness, and others. Which might be the neural bases for these behavioral differences? The number of cells in olfactory regions, and especially the number of neurons, may represent a more accurate indicator of the neural machinery than volume or weight, but besides gross volume measures of the human olfactory bulb, no systematic study of sex differences in the absolute number of cells has yet been undertaken. In this work, we investigate a possible sexual dimorphism in the olfactory bulb, by quantifying postmortem material from 7 men and 11 women (ages 55–94 years) with the isotropic fractionator, an unbiased and accurate method to estimate absolute cell numbers in brain regions. Female bulbs weighed 0.132 g in average, while male bulbs weighed 0.137 g, a non-significant difference; however, the total number of cells was 16.2 million in females, and 9.2 million in males, a significant difference of 43.2%. The number of neurons in females reached 6.9 million, being no more than 3.5 million in males, a difference of 49.3%. The number of non-neuronal cells also proved higher in women than in men: 9.3 million and 5.7 million, respectively, a significant difference of 38.7%. The same differences remained when corrected for mass. Results demonstrate a sex-related difference in the absolute number of total, neuronal and non-neuronal cells, favoring women by 40–50%. It is conceivable that these differences in quantitative cellularity may have functional impact, albeit difficult to infer how exactly this would be, without knowing the specific circuits cells make. However, the reported advantage of women as compared to men may stimulate future work on sex dimorphism of synaptic microcircuitry in the olfactory bulb. PMID:25372872

  6. Sexually Dimorphic Expression of eGFP Transgene in the Akr1A1 Locus of Mouse Liver Regulated by Sex Hormone-Related Epigenetic Remodeling

    PubMed Central

    Lai, Cheng-Wei; Chen, Hsiao-Ling; Tsai, Tung-Chou; Chu, Te-Wei; Yang, Shang-Hsun; Chong, Kowit-Yu; Chen, Chuan-Mu

    2016-01-01

    Sexually dimorphic gene expression is commonly found in the liver, and many of these genes are linked to different incidences of liver diseases between sexes. However, the mechanism of sexually dimorphic expression is still not fully understood. In this study, a pCAG-eGFP transgenic mouse strain with a specific transgene integration site in the Akr1A1 locus presented male-biased EGFP expression in the liver, and the expression was activated by testosterone during puberty. The integration of the pCAG-eGFP transgene altered the epigenetic regulation of the adjacent chromatin, including increased binding of STAT5b, a sexually dimorphic expression regulator, and the transformation of DNA methylation from hypermethylation into male-biased hypomethylation. Through this de novo sexually dimorphic expression of the transgene, the Akr1A1eGFP mouse provides a useful model to study the mechanisms and the dynamic changes of sexually dimorphic gene expression during either development or pathogenesis of the liver. PMID:27087367

  7. Chemical and Hormonal Effects on STAT5b-Dependent Sexual Dimorphism of the Liver Transcriptome.

    PubMed

    Oshida, Keiyu; Waxman, David J; Corton, J Christopher

    2016-01-01

    The growth hormone (GH)-activated transcription factor signal transducer and activator of transcription 5b (STAT5b) is a key regulator of sexually dimorphic gene expression in the liver. Suppression of hepatic STAT5b signaling is associated with lipid metabolic dysfunction leading to steatosis and liver cancer. In the companion publication, a STAT5b biomarker gene set was identified and used in a rank-based test to predict both increases and decreases in liver STAT5b activation status/function with high (≥ 97%) accuracy. Here, this computational approach was used to identify chemicals and hormones that activate (masculinize) or suppress (feminize) STAT5b function in a large, annotated mouse liver and primary hepatocyte gene expression compendium. Exposure to dihydrotestosterone and thyroid hormone caused liver masculinization, whereas glucocorticoids, fibroblast growth factor 15, and angiotensin II caused liver feminization. In mouse models of diabetes and obesity, liver feminization was consistently observed and was at least partially reversed by leptin or resveratrol exposure. Chemical-induced feminization of male mouse liver gene expression profiles was a relatively frequent phenomenon: of 156 gene expression biosets from chemically-treated male mice, 29% showed feminization of liver STAT5b function, while <1% showed masculinization. Most (93%) of the biosets that exhibited feminization of male liver were also associated with activation of one or more xenobiotic-responsive receptors, most commonly constitutive activated receptor (CAR) or peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPARα). Feminization was consistently associated with increased expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (Pparg) but not other lipogenic transcription factors linked to steatosis. GH-activated STAT5b signaling in mouse liver is thus commonly altered by diverse chemicals, and provides a linkage between chemical exposure and dysregulated gene expression

  8. Sexually Dimorphic Effects of Melatonin on Brain Arginine Vasotocin Immunoreactivity in Green Treefrogs (Hyla cinerea)

    PubMed Central

    Lutterschmidt, Deborah I.; Wilczynski, Walter

    2012-01-01

    Arginine vasotocin (AVT) and its mammalian homologue, arginine vasopressin (AVP), regulate a variety of social and reproductive behaviors, often with complex species-, sex-, and context-dependent effects. Despite extensive evidence documenting seasonal variation in brain AVT/AVP, relatively few studies have investigated the environmental and/or hormonal factors mediating these seasonal changes. In the present study, we investigated whether the pineal hormone melatonin alters brain AVT immunoreactivity in green treefrogs (Hyla cinerea). Reproductively active male and female frogs were collected during the summer breeding season and a melatonin-filled or blank silastic capsule was surgically implanted subcutaneously. The duration of hormone treatment was 4 weeks, at which time frogs were euthanized and the brains and blood collected and processed for AVT immunohistochemistry and steroid hormone assay. We quantified AVT-immunoreactive (AVT-ir) cell bodies in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc), caudal striatum and amygdala (AMG), anterior preoptic area (POA), suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), and infundibular region of the ventral hypothalamus (VH). Sex differences in AVT-ir cell number were observed in all brain regions except the anterior POA and VH, with males having more AVT-ir cells than females in the NAcc, AMG, and SCN. Brain AVT was sensitive to melatonin signaling during the breeding season, and the effects of melatonin varied significantly with both region and sex. Treatment with melatonin decreased AVT immunoreactivity in both the NAcc and SCN in male H. cinerea. In contrast, brain AVT was relatively insensitive to melatonin signaling in females, indicating that the regulation of the AVT/AVP neuropeptide system by melatonin may be sexually dimorphic. Finally, melatonin did not significantly influence testosterone or estradiol concentrations of male or female frogs, respectively, suggesting that the effects of melatonin on AVT immunoreactivity are independent of

  9. Does the GH/IGF-1 axis contribute to skeletal sexual dimorphism? Evidence from mouse studies.

    PubMed

    Liu, Zhongbo; Mohan, Subburaman; Yakar, Shoshana

    2016-04-01

    The contribution of the gonadotropic axis to skeletal sexual dimorphism (SSD) was clarified in recent years. Studies with animal models of estrogen receptor (ER) or androgen receptor (AR) null mice, as well as mice with bone cell-specific ablation of ER or AR, revealed that both hormones play major roles in skeletal acquisition, and that estrogen regulates skeletal accrual in both sexes. The growth hormone (GH) and its downstream effector, the insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) are also major determinants of peak bone mass during puberty and young adulthood, and play important roles in maintaining bone integrity during aging. A few studies in both humans and animal models suggest that in addition to the differences in sex steroid actions on bone, sex-specific effects of GH and IGF-1 play essential roles in SSD. However, the contributions of the somatotropic (GH/IGF-1) axis to SSD are controversial and data is difficult to interpret. GH/IGF-1 are pleotropic hormones that act in an endocrine and autocrine/paracrine fashion on multiple tissues, affecting body composition as well as metabolism. Thus, understanding the contribution of the somatotropic axis to SSD requires the use of mouse models that will differentiate between these two modes of action. Elucidation of the relative contribution of GH/IGF-1 axis to SSD is significant because GH is approved for the treatment of normal children with short stature and children with congenital growth disorders. Thus, if the GH/IGF-1 axis determines SSD, treatment with GH may be tailored according to sex. In the following review, we give an overview of the roles of sex steroids in determining SSD and how they may interact with the GH/IGF-1 axis in bone. We summarize several mouse models with impaired somatotropic axis and speculate on the possible contribution of that axis to SSD. PMID:26843472

  10. Neither male gonadal androgens nor female reproductive costs drive development of sexual size dimorphism in lizards.

    PubMed

    Starostová, Zuzana; Kubička, Lukáš; Golinski, Alison; Kratochvíl, Lukáš

    2013-05-15

    Sexual size dimorphism (SSD) is an extensively studied phenomenon in animals, including reptiles, but the proximate mechanism of its development is poorly understood. The most pervasive candidates are: (1) androgen-mediated control of growth, i.e. a positive effect of gonadal androgens (testosterone) on male growth in male-larger species, and a negative effect in female-larger species; and (2) sex-specific differences in energy allocation to growth, e.g. sex with larger reproductive costs should result in smaller body size. We tested these hypotheses in adults of the male-larger lizard Paroedura picta by conducting castrations with and without testosterone implants in males and manipulating reproductive status in females. Castration or testosterone replacement had no significant effect on final body length in males. High investment to reproduction had no significant effect on final body length in intact females. Interestingly, ovariectomized females and females with testosterone implants grew to larger body size than intact females. We did not find support for either of the above hypotheses and suggest that previously reported effects of gonadal androgens on growth in male lizards could be a consequence of altered behaviour or social status in manipulated individuals. Exogenous testosterone in females led to decreased size of ovaries; its effect on body size may be caused by interference with normal ovarian function. We suggest that ovarian factors, perhaps estrogens, not reproductive costs, can modify growth in female lizards and may thus contribute to the development of SSD. This hypothesis is largely supported by published results on the effect of testosterone treatment or ovariectomy on body size in female squamates. PMID:23393279

  11. Sexual Dimorphism and Geographic Variation in Dorsal Fin Features of Australian Humpback Dolphins, Sousa sahulensis.

    PubMed

    Brown, Alexander M; Bejder, Lars; Parra, Guido J; Cagnazzi, Daniele; Hunt, Tim; Smith, Jennifer L; Allen, Simon J

    2016-01-01

    Determining the sex of free-ranging cetaceans can be challenging. Sexual dimorphism among external features may allow inferences on sex, but such patterns may be difficult to detect and are often confounded by age and geographic variation. Dorsal fin images of 107 female and 54 male Australian humpback dolphins, Sousa sahulensis, from Western Australia (WA) and Queensland (QLD) were used to investigate sex, age and geographic differences in colouration, height/length quotient and number of notches. Adult males exhibited more dorsal fin notches (p<0.001) and a significantly greater loss of pigmentation on the upper half of their dorsal fins (p<0.001) than did adult females. These differences likely reflect that males experience a higher frequency and/or intensity of intraspecific aggression than females. In QLD, heavily spotted dorsal fins were more frequent among females than males (p<0.001). Logistic regression analyses revealed that dorsal fin spotting and loss of pigmentation on the upper half of the dorsal fin provided the best model parameters for predicting the sex of sampled adults, with 97% accuracy. This technique offers a rapid, non-invasive method for predicting sex in Australian humpback dolphins, which could potentially be applied to populations throughout their range. In contrast to adults, presumed immature animals showed little or no loss of pigmentation or spotting; however, the rate of development of these features remains unknown. There were pronounced differences between QLD and WA in the intensity of spotting on dorsal fins and the extent of pigmentation loss around the posterior insertion and trailing edge of the dorsal fin. While based on a limited sample size, these geographic differences may have conservation implications in terms of population subdivision and should be investigated further. PMID:26790895

  12. Diet selection and seasonal dietary switch of a large sexually dimorphic herbivore

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shannon, Graeme; Mackey, Robin L.; Slotow, Rob

    2013-01-01

    Although diet selection and the physiological adaptations of grazers and browsers have been widely studied, much less is known about mixed-feeders that target both grass and woody species. The ability to switch diet allows the individual to respond to spatial and temporal changes in forage abundance and quality, providing a key mechanism for large herbivores to exploit heterogeneous environments. We compare diet selection and timing of the seasonal dietary switch for a large-bodied, sexually dimorphic mixed-feeder, the African elephant. The study was carried out on a small population of elephants (n = 48) in the Pongola Game Reserve (PGR), South Africa. Sex-specific dietary composition evaluated from feeding behaviour correlated with composition in dung samples from individuals of known sex. Grass was strongly preferred during the wet season and browse in the winter dry season. However, adult male elephants switched from browse to grass earlier, and consumed a greater overall proportion of grass in their diet, compared with adult females and their associated family groups. Male elephants also spent more time in grassland habitats, and expanded their ranges to a greater extent than females following the end of the dry season. Our results suggest that smaller adult body size, high nutritional demands of offspring, and the constraints of sociality have contributed to female elephants in PGR resolving their diet selection strategies to target higher quality foraging opportunities, whilst males appear to be adopting a rate maximizing approach. The behavioural differences between the sexes are pronounced, which has implications for elephant management approaches that are typically focussed at the population level.

  13. Triangulating the sexually dimorphic brain through high-resolution neuroimaging of murine sex chromosome aneuploidies.

    PubMed

    Raznahan, Armin; Lue, YanHe; Probst, Frank; Greenstein, Deanna; Giedd, Jay; Wang, Christina; Lerch, Jason; Swerdloff, Ronald

    2015-11-01

    Murine sex chromosome aneuploidies (SCAs) provide powerful models for charting sex chromosome influences on mammalian brain development. Here, building on prior work in X-monosomic (XO) mice, we use spatially non-biased high-resolution imaging to compare and contrast neuroanatomical alterations in XXY and XO mice relative to their wild-type XX and XY littermates. First, we show that carriage of a supernumerary X chromosome in XXY males (1) does not prevent normative volumetric masculinization of the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) and medial amygdala, but (2) causes distributed anatomical alterations relative to XY males, which show a statistically unexpected tendency to be co-localized with and reciprocal to XO-XX differences in anatomy. These overlaps identify the lateral septum, BNST, ventral group thalamic nuclei and periaqueductal gray matter as regions with replicable sensitivity to X chromosome dose across two SCAs. We then harness anatomical variation across all four karyotype groups in our study--XO, XX, XY and XXY--to create an agnostic data-driven segmentation of the mouse brain into five distributed clusters which (1) recover fundamental properties of brain organization with high spatial precision, (2) define two previously uncharacterized systems of relative volume excess in females vs. males ("forebrain cholinergic" and "cerebelo-pontine-thalamo-cortical"), and (3) adopt stereotyped spatial motifs which delineate ordered gradients of sex chromosome and gonadal influences on volumetric brain development. Taken together, these data provide a new framework for the study of sexually dimorphic influences on brain development in health and disrupted brain development in SCA. PMID:25146308

  14. Triangulating the sexually dimorphic brain through high-resolution neuroimaging of murine sex chromosome aneuploidies

    PubMed Central

    Lue, YanHe; Probst, Frank; Greenstein, Deanna; Giedd, Jay; Wang, Christina; Lerch, Jason; Swerdloff, Ronald

    2016-01-01

    Murine sex chromosome aneuploidies (SCAs) provide powerful models for charting sex chromosome influences on mammalian brain development. Here, building on prior work in X-monosomic (XO) mice, we use spatially non-biased high-resolution imaging to compare and contrast neuroanatomical alterations in XXY and XO mice relative to their wild-type XX and XY littermates. First, we show that carriage of a supernumerary X chromosome in XXY males (1) does not prevent normative volumetric masculinization of the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) and medial amygdala, but (2) causes distributed anatomical alterations relative to XY males, which show a statistically unexpected tendency to be colocalized with and reciprocal to XO-XX differences in anatomy. These overlaps identify the lateral septum, BNST, ventral group thalamic nuclei and periaqueductal gray matter as regions with replicable sensitivity to X chromosome dose across two SCAs. We then harness anatomical variation across all four karyotype groups in our study—XO, XX, XY and XXY—to create an agnostic data-driven segmentation of the mouse brain into five distributed clusters which (1) recover fundamental properties of brain organization with high spatial precision, (2) define two previously uncharacterized systems of relative volume excess in females vs. males (“forebrain cholinergic” and “cerebelo-pontine-thalamo-cortical”), and (3) adopt stereotyped spatial motifs which delineate ordered gradients of sex chromosome and gonadal influences on volumetric brain development. Taken together, these data provide a new framework for the study of sexually dimorphic influences on brain development in health and disrupted brain development in SCA. PMID:25146308

  15. The human hippocampus is not sexually-dimorphic: Meta-analysis of structural MRI volumes.

    PubMed

    Tan, Anh; Ma, Wenli; Vira, Amit; Marwha, Dhruv; Eliot, Lise

    2016-01-01

    Hippocampal atrophy is found in many psychiatric disorders that are more prevalent in women. Sex differences in memory and spatial skills further suggest that males and females differ in hippocampal structure and function. We conducted the first meta-analysis of male-female difference in hippocampal volume (HCV) based on published MRI studies of healthy participants of all ages, to test whether the structure is reliably sexually dimorphic. Using four search strategies, we collected 68 matched samples of males' and females' uncorrected HCVs (in 4418 total participants), and 36 samples of male and female HCVs (2183 participants) that were corrected for individual differences in total brain volume (TBV) or intracranial volume (ICV). Pooled effect sizes were calculated using a random-effects model for left, right, and bilateral uncorrected HCVs and for left and right HCVs corrected for TBV or ICV. We found that uncorrected HCV was reliably larger in males, with Hedges' g values of 0.545 for left hippocampus, 0.526 for right hippocampus, and 0.557 for bilateral hippocampus. Meta-regression revealed no effect of age on the sex difference in left, right, or bilateral HCV. In the subset of studies that reported it, both TBV (g=1.085) and ICV (g=1.272) were considerably larger in males. Accordingly, studies reporting HCVs corrected for individual differences in TBV or ICV revealed no significant sex differences in left and right HCVs (Hedges' g ranging from +0.011 to -0.206). In summary, we found that human males of all ages exhibit a larger HCV than females, but adjusting for individual differences in TBV or ICV results in no reliable sex difference. The frequent claim that women have a disproportionately larger hippocampus than men was not supported. PMID:26334947

  16. Can Nocturnal Flight Calls of the Migrating Songbird, American Redstart, Encode Sexual Dimorphism and Individual Identity?

    PubMed Central

    Lanzone, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Bird species often use flight calls to engage in social behavior, for instance maintain group cohesion and to signal individual identity, kin or social associations, or breeding status of the caller. Additional uses also exist, in particular among migrating songbirds for communication during nocturnal migration. However, our understanding of the information that these vocalizations convey is incomplete, especially in nocturnal scenarios. To examine whether information about signaler traits could be encoded in flight calls we quantified several acoustic characteristics from calls of a nocturnally migrating songbird, the American Redstart. We recorded calls from temporarily captured wild specimens during mist-netting at the Powdermill Avian Research Center in Rector, PA. We measured call similarity among and within individuals, genders, and age groups. Calls from the same individual were significantly more similar to one another than to the calls of other individuals, and calls were significantly more similar among individuals of the same sex than between sexes. Flight calls from hatching-year and after hatching-year individuals were not significantly different. Our results suggest that American Redstart flight calls may carry identifiers of gender and individual identity. To our knowledge, this is the first evidence of individuality or sexual dimorphism in the flight calls of a migratory songbird. Furthermore, our results suggest that flight calls may have more explicit functions beyond simple group contact and cohesion. Nocturnal migration may require coordination among numerous individuals, and the use of flight calls to transmit information among intra- and conspecifics could be advantageous. Applying approaches that account for such individual and gender information may enable more advanced research using acoustic monitoring. PMID:27284697

  17. Sexual dimorphism in immune function changes during the annual cycle in house sparrows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pap, Péter László; Czirják, Gábor Árpád; Vágási, Csongor István; Barta, Zoltán; Hasselquist, Dennis

    2010-10-01

    Difference between sexes in parasitism is a common phenomenon among birds, which may be related to differences between males and females in their investment into immune functions or as a consequence of differential exposure to parasites. Because life-history strategies change sex specifically during the annual cycle, immunological responses of the host aiming to reduce the impact of parasites may be sexually dimorphic. Despite the great complexity of the immune system, studies on immunoecology generally characterise the immune status through a few variables, often overlooking potentially important seasonal and gender effects. However, because of the differences in physiological and defence mechanisms among different arms of the immune system, we expect divergent responses of immune components to environmental seasonality. In male and female house sparrows ( Passer domesticus), we measured the major components of the immune system (innate, acquired, cellular and humoral) during four important life-history stages across the year: (1) mating, (2) breeding, (3) moulting and (4) during the winter capture and also following introduction to captivity in aviary. Different individuals were sampled from the same population during the four life cycle stages. We found that three out of eight immune variables showed a significant life cycle stage × sex interaction. The difference in immune response between the sexes was significant in five immune variables during the mating stage, when females had consistently stronger immune function than males, while variables varied generally non-significantly with sex during the remaining three life cycle stages. Our results show that the immune system is highly variable between life cycle stages and sexes, highlighting the potential fine tuning of the immune system to specific physiological states and environmental conditions.

  18. Chemical and Hormonal Effects on STAT5b-Dependent Sexual Dimorphism of the Liver Transcriptome

    PubMed Central

    Oshida, Keiyu; Waxman, David J.; Corton, J. Christopher

    2016-01-01

    The growth hormone (GH)-activated transcription factor signal transducer and activator of transcription 5b (STAT5b) is a key regulator of sexually dimorphic gene expression in the liver. Suppression of hepatic STAT5b signaling is associated with lipid metabolic dysfunction leading to steatosis and liver cancer. In the companion publication, a STAT5b biomarker gene set was identified and used in a rank-based test to predict both increases and decreases in liver STAT5b activation status/function with high (≥ 97%) accuracy. Here, this computational approach was used to identify chemicals and hormones that activate (masculinize) or suppress (feminize) STAT5b function in a large, annotated mouse liver and primary hepatocyte gene expression compendium. Exposure to dihydrotestosterone and thyroid hormone caused liver masculinization, whereas glucocorticoids, fibroblast growth factor 15, and angiotensin II caused liver feminization. In mouse models of diabetes and obesity, liver feminization was consistently observed and was at least partially reversed by leptin or resveratrol exposure. Chemical-induced feminization of male mouse liver gene expression profiles was a relatively frequent phenomenon: of 156 gene expression biosets from chemically-treated male mice, 29% showed feminization of liver STAT5b function, while <1% showed masculinization. Most (93%) of the biosets that exhibited feminization of male liver were also associated with activation of one or more xenobiotic-responsive receptors, most commonly constitutive activated receptor (CAR) or peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPARα). Feminization was consistently associated with increased expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (Pparg) but not other lipogenic transcription factors linked to steatosis. GH-activated STAT5b signaling in mouse liver is thus commonly altered by diverse chemicals, and provides a linkage between chemical exposure and dysregulated gene expression

  19. Sexual dimorphism in immune function changes during the annual cycle in house sparrows.

    PubMed

    Pap, Péter László; Czirják, Gábor Arpád; Vágási, Csongor István; Barta, Zoltán; Hasselquist, Dennis

    2010-10-01

    Difference between sexes in parasitism is a common phenomenon among birds, which may be related to differences between males and females in their investment into immune functions or as a consequence of differential exposure to parasites. Because life-history strategies change sex specifically during the annual cycle, immunological responses of the host aiming to reduce the impact of parasites may be sexually dimorphic. Despite the great complexity of the immune system, studies on immunoecology generally characterise the immune status through a few variables, often overlooking potentially important seasonal and gender effects. However, because of the differences in physiological and defence mechanisms among different arms of the immune system, we expect divergent responses of immune components to environmental seasonality. In male and female house sparrows (Passer domesticus), we measured the major components of the immune system (innate, acquired, cellular and humoral) during four important life-history stages across the year: (1) mating, (2) breeding, (3) moulting and (4) during the winter capture and also following introduction to captivity in aviary. Different individuals were sampled from the same population during the four life cycle stages. We found that three out of eight immune variables showed a significant life cycle stage × sex interaction. The difference in immune response between the sexes was significant in five immune variables during the mating stage, when females had consistently stronger immune function than males, while variables varied generally non-significantly with sex during the remaining three life cycle stages. Our results show that the immune system is highly variable between life cycle stages and sexes, highlighting the potential fine tuning of the immune system to specific physiological states and environmental conditions. PMID:20706704

  20. Growth and the development of sexual size dimorphism in lorises and galagos.

    PubMed

    O'Mara, M Teague; Gordon, Adam D; Catlett, Kierstin K; Terranova, Carl J; Schwartz, Gary T

    2012-01-01

    Three fundamental ontogenetic pathways lead to the development of size differences between males and females. Males and females may grow at the same rate for different durations (bimaturism), grow for the same duration at different rates, or grow at a mix of rate and duration differences. While patterns of growth and the development of adult body size are well established for many haplorhines, the extent to which rate and duration differences affect strepsirrhine growth trajectories remains unclear. Here, we present iterative piecewise regression models that describe the ontogeny of adult body mass for males and females of five lorisoid species (i.e., lorises and galagos) from the Duke Lemur Center. We test the hypotheses that, like most haplorhines, sexual size dimorphism (SSD) is a result of bimaturism, and males and females of monomorphic species grow at the same rate for a similar duration. We confirm that the galagos in this sample (Galago moholi and Otolemur garnettii) show significant SSD that is achieved through bimaturism. Unlike monomorphic lemurids, the lorises in this sample show a diversity of ontogenetic patterns. Loris tardigradus does follow a lemur-like trajectory to monomorphism but Nycticebuscoucang and Nycticebus pygmaeus achieve larger adult female body sizes through a mixture of rate and duration differences. We show that contrary to previous assumptions, there are patterns of both similarity and difference in growth trajectories of comparably sized lorises and galagos. Furthermore, when ontogenetic profiles of lorisoid and lemurid growth are compared, it is evident that lorisoids grow faster for a shorter period of time. PMID:21989860

  1. Spatial cognition and sexually dimorphic synaptic plasticity balance impairment in rats with chronic prenatal ethanol exposure.

    PubMed

    An, Lei; Zhang, Tao

    2013-11-01

    Prenatal ethanol exposure can lead to long-lasting impairments in the ability of rats to process spatial information, as well as produce long-lasting deficits in long-term potentiation (LTP), a biological model of learning and memory processing. The present study aimed to examine the sexually dimorphic effects of chronic prenatal ethanol exposure (CPEE) on behavior cognition and synaptic plasticity balance (SPB), and tried to understand a possible mechanism by evaluating the alternation of SPB. The animal model was produced by ethanol exposure throughout gestational period with 4 g/kg bodyweight. Offspring of both male and female were selected and studied on postnatal days 36. Subsequently, the data showed that chronic ethanol exposure resulted in birth weight reduction, losing bodyweight gain, microcephaly and hippocampus weight retardation. In Morris water maze (MWM) test, escape latencies were significantly higher in CPEE-treated rats than that in control ones. They also spent much less time in the target quadrant compared to that of control animals in the probe phase. In addition, it was found that there was a more severe impairment in females than that in males after CPEE treatment. Electrophysiological studies showed that CPEE considerably inhibited hippocampal LTP and facilitated depotentiation in males, while significantly enhanced LTP and suppressed depotentiation in females. A novel index, developed by us, showed that the action of CPEE on SPB was more sensitive in females than that in males, suggesting that it might be an effective index to distinguish the difference of SPB impairment between males and females. PMID:24050890

  2. Identification of Genetic Determinants of the Sexual Dimorphism in CNS Autoimmunity

    PubMed Central

    Bearoff, Frank; Case, Laure K.; Krementsov, Dimitry N.; Wall, Emma H.; Saligrama, Naresha; Blankenhorn, Elizabeth P.; Teuscher, Cory

    2015-01-01

    modeling the genetic architecture of MS. Moreover, our data represent the first step towards mechanistic dissection of genetic control of sexual dimorphism in CNS autoimmunity. PMID:25671658

  3. Behavioral sexual dimorphism in models of anxiety and depression due to changes in HPA axis activity.

    PubMed

    Kokras, Nikolaos; Dalla, Christina; Sideris, Antonios C; Dendi, Artemis; Mikail, Hudu G; Antoniou, Katerina; Papadopoulou-Daifoti, Zeta

    2012-01-01

    Anxiety and depression are considered as stress-related disorders, which present considerable sex differentiation. In animal models of anxiety and depression sex differences have been described and linked to the sexually dimorphic hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenals (HPA) axis. The present study aimed to adjust corticosterone, the main HPA axis stress hormone, in male and female adrenalectomized rats with oral (25 μg/ml) corticosterone replacement (ADXR). Subsequently we investigated the behavioral performance of ADXR rats in the open field, light/dark and forced swim test (FST). Male ADXR rats showed less anxiety-like behavior when compared to sham-operated controls, despite adequate corticosterone replacement. They further showed increased swimming and reduced climbing behavior in the FST, while immobility duration did not differ from sham-operated males. On the contrary, adrenalectomy and corticosterone replacement did not have significant effects on the female behavioral response. Females were generally more active and presented less anxiety-like behavior than males, while they exhibited higher depressive-like symptomatology in the FST. ADXR affected behavioral responses predominantly in males, which in turn modified sex differences in the behavioral profile. Females in proestrous and estrous did not differ from females in diestrous and methestrous in any measured behavioral response. Present results suggest that the male and not the female behavioral responses in models of anxiety and depression were mainly affected by ADXR. These findings may play a significant role in explaining the differential coping strategy of the two sexes in response to stressful experiences. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Anxiety and Depression'. PMID:21884710

  4. Activity-related sexual dimorphism in Alaskan foragers from Point Hope: Evidences from the upper limb.

    PubMed

    Ibáñez-Gimeno, Pere; Galtés, Ignasi; Jordana, Xavier; Manyosa, Joan; Malgosa, Assumpció

    2015-01-01

    Ipiutak (100BCE-500CE) and Tigara (1200 - 1700CE) are two populations from Point Hope, Alaska. As commonly observed in forager communities, it may be expected males and females to have been involved in markedly different daily activities. Nevertheless, activity-related sexual dimorphism in these populations has been scarcely studied. Using humeral diaphyseal cross-sectional properties and forearm rotational efficiency, which are activity-dependent characteristics, we aim to assess differences between sexes and discuss what activities could have triggered them. Our results suggest that in Ipiutak males and females did not differ meaningfully in their cross-sectional properties. Conversely, in Tigara males had a greater rigidity of the entire humeral diaphysis than females, which suggests the existence of greater relative activity levels and more physically demanding tasks, possibly related to hunting activities. Concerning the differences between sexes in the forearm rotational efficiency, in Tigara females rotational efficiency in elbow flexion is maximal in a more supinated position than in males, which leads to an improvement of efficiency in those stages related to manipulation, and so improves the manipulative capacities of the upper limb. These differences in efficiency are caused by a more proximally oriented humeral medial epicondyle in females, which is thus confirmed to be a good feature to assess differences in labor. Therefore females in Tigara probably performed in a daily basis household activities, such as hide processing and other manipulative labors. In Ipiutak, the analysis of forearm rotational efficiency did not reveal differences between sexes. Overall, the results suggest that division of labor in Ipiutak was not as marked as in Tigara, where upper limb skeletal structure supports the idea that both sexes were involved in different daily activities. Nevertheless, the generalized lack of results in Ipiutak could be due to the small sample

  5. Sexually dimorphic effects of the Lhx7 null mutation on forebrain cholinergic function.

    PubMed

    Fragkouli, A; Stamatakis, A; Zographos, E; Pachnis, V; Stylianopoulou, F

    2006-01-01

    It has been reported recently that mice lacking both alleles of the LIM-homeobox gene Lhx7, display dramatically reduced number of forebrain cholinergic neurons. In the present study, we investigated whether the Lhx7 mutation affects male and female mice differently, given the fact that gender differences are consistently observed in forebrain cholinergic function. Our results show that in adult male as well as female Lhx7 homozygous mutants there is a dramatic loss of choline acetyltransferase immunoreactive forebrain neurons, both projection and interneurons. The reduction of forebrain choline acetyltransferase immunoreactive neurons in Lhx7 homozygous mutants is accompanied by a decrease of acetylcholinesterase histochemical staining in all forebrain cholinergic neuron target areas of both male and female homozygous mutants. Furthermore, there was an increase of M1-, but not M2-, muscarinic acetylcholine receptor binding site density in the somatosensory cortex and basal ganglia of only the female homozygous mutant mice. Such an increase can be regarded as a mechanism acting to compensate for the dramatically reduced cholinergic input, raising the possibility that the forebrain cholinergic system in female mice may be more plastic and responsive to situations of limited neurotransmitter availability. Finally, our study provides additional data for the sexual dimorphism of the forebrain cholinergic system, as female mice appear to have a lower density of M1-muscarinic acetylcholine receptors in the striatal areas of the basal ganglia and a higher density of M2-muscarinic acetylcholine receptors, in a number of cortical areas, as well as the striatal areas of the basal ganglia. PMID:16338089

  6. Sex-determining chromosomes and sexual dimorphism: insights from genetic mapping of sex expression in a natural hybrid Fragaria × ananassa subsp. cuneifolia

    PubMed Central

    Govindarajulu, R; Liston, A; Ashman, T-L

    2013-01-01

    We studied the natural hybrid (Fragaria × ananassa subsp. cuneifolia) between two sexually dimorphic octoploid strawberry species (Fragaria virginiana and Fragaria chiloensis) to gain insight into the dynamics of sex chromosomes and the genesis of sexual dimorphism. Male sterility is dominant in both the parental species and thus will be inherited maternally, but the chromosome that houses the sex-determining region differs. Thus, we asked whether (1) the cytotypic composition of hybrid populations represents one or both maternal species, (2) the sex-determining chromosome of the hybrid reflects the location of male sterility within the maternal donor species and (3) crosses from the hybrid species show less sexual dimorphism than the parental species. We found that F. × ananassa subsp. cuneifolia populations consisted of both parental cytotypes but one predominated within each population. Genetic linkage mapping of two crosses showed dominance of male sterility similar to the parental species, however, the map location of male sterility reflected the maternal donor in one cross, but not the other. Moreover, female function mapped to a single region in the first cross, but to two regions in the second cross. Aside from components of female function (fruit set and seed set), other traits that have been found to be significantly sexually dimorphic in the pure species were either not dimorphic or were dimorphic in the opposite direction to the parental species. These results suggest that hybrids experience some disruption of dimorphism in secondary sexual traits, as well as novel location and number of quantitative trait locus (QTL) affecting sex function. PMID:23169558

  7. Sex-determining chromosomes and sexual dimorphism: insights from genetic mapping of sex expression in a natural hybrid Fragaria × ananassa subsp. cuneifolia.

    PubMed

    Govindarajulu, R; Liston, A; Ashman, T-L

    2013-05-01

    We studied the natural hybrid (Fragaria × ananassa subsp. cuneifolia) between two sexually dimorphic octoploid strawberry species (Fragaria virginiana and Fragaria chiloensis) to gain insight into the dynamics of sex chromosomes and the genesis of sexual dimorphism. Male sterility is dominant in both the parental species and thus will be inherited maternally, but the chromosome that houses the sex-determining region differs. Thus, we asked whether (1) the cytotypic composition of hybrid populations represents one or both maternal species, (2) the sex-determining chromosome of the hybrid reflects the location of male sterility within the maternal donor species and (3) crosses from the hybrid species show less sexual dimorphism than the parental species. We found that F. × ananassa subsp. cuneifolia populations consisted of both parental cytotypes but one predominated within each population. Genetic linkage mapping of two crosses showed dominance of male sterility similar to the parental species, however, the map location of male sterility reflected the maternal donor in one cross, but not the other. Moreover, female function mapped to a single region in the first cross, but to two regions in the second cross. Aside from components of female function (fruit set and seed set), other traits that have been found to be significantly sexually dimorphic in the pure species were either not dimorphic or were dimorphic in the opposite direction to the parental species. These results suggest that hybrids experience some disruption of dimorphism in secondary sexual traits, as well as novel location and number of quantitative trait locus (QTL) affecting sex function. PMID:23169558

  8. The Effects of Synthetic Estrogen Exposure on the Sexually Dimorphic Liver Transcriptome of the Sex-Role-Reversed Gulf Pipefish

    PubMed Central

    Rose, Emily; Flanagan, Sarah P.; Jones, Adam G.

    2015-01-01

    Species exhibiting sex-role reversal provide an unusual perspective on the evolution of sex roles and sex differences. However, the proximate effects of sex-role reversal are largely unknown. Endocrine disruptors provide an experimental mechanism to address hormonal regulation of sexually dimorphic gene expression in sex-role-reversed taxa. Here, we investigate gene expression patterns in the liver of the sex-role-reversed Gulf pipefish, because the liver is known to be sexually dimorphic and estrogen-regulated in species with conventional sex roles. Using next-generation RNA-sequencing technology (RNA-seq), we detected sexually dimorphic hepatic gene expression patterns, with a total of 482 differentially expressed genes between the sexes in Gulf pipefish. Two-thirds of these genes were over-expressed in females, and the sex-specific transcriptomes of this sex-role-reversed pipefish’s liver were superficially similar to those of fishes with conventional sex-roles. We exposed females, pregnant males, and non-pregnant males to 17α-ethinylestradiol (EE2) at ecologically relevant concentrations of 5ng/L and compared gene expression patterns in the livers of exposed fish to control fish. Several genes that were up-regulated in EE2-exposed males relative to control males were also found to be female-biased in control animals. These genes included several of the classic estrogen biomarkers, such as vitellogenin, choriogenin, and zona pellucida. Thus, estrogen exposure induced feminization of the male liver transcriptome in a sex-role-reversed pipefish. These results suggest that the ancestral state of estrogen-regulated female reproductive physiology has been retained in all sex-role-reversed vertebrates thus far studied, despite substantial evolution of the hormonal regulation of ornamentation and mating behavior in these interesting taxa. PMID:26448558

  9. Anthropometric and craniofacial sexual dimorphism in obstructive sleep apnea patients: is there male-female phenotypical convergence?

    PubMed

    Perri, Rita A; Kairaitis, Kristina; Wheatley, John R; Amis, Terence C

    2015-02-01

    Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is more common in men than women. Body size is greater in males (sexual dimorphism), but large body habitus is associated with OSA for both genders. We speculated that male-female phenotypical convergence (reduced sexual dimorphism via identical phenotype acquisition) occurs with OSA and tested hypotheses: (1) phenotypical features pathogenic for OSA differ between OSA and healthy subjects irrespective of gender; and (2) such characteristics exhibit phenotypical convergence. Utilizing an existing database, we calculated male-female (group average) ratios for eight anthropometric and 33 surface cephalometric variables from 104 Caucasian OSA patients [72 males; apnea-hypopnea index (events h(-1) ): males: 42.3 ± 24.7 versus females: 42.6 ± 26.1 (P > 0.9)] and 85 Caucasian, healthy, non-OSA, community volunteers (36 males). Log-transformed data were analysed using a general linear model with post-hoc unpaired t-tests and significance at P < 0.0012 (Bonferroni multiple-comparison correction). OSA patients were older (56.9 ± 14.4 versus 38.0 ± 13.8 years), but there were no within-group gender-based age differences. All anthropometric variables (except height), plus cranial base width, mandibular breadth and retromandibular width diagonal were larger in gender-matched OSA versus healthy comparisons; thus satisfying hypothesis (1). Male-female ratios were mostly >1.0 across groups, but with no significant group × gender interactions no variable satisfied hypothesis (2). Thus, in this exploratory study, OSA patients had gender-common phenotypical differences to healthy subjects, but sexual dimorphism was preserved. Lack of complete phenotypical convergence may indicate gender-based critical phenotype-level attainment for OSA and/or gender-based OSA prevalence arises from factors other than those in this study. PMID:25113616

  10. Acetylcholinesterase activity in the sexually dimorphic area of the gerbil brain: sex differences and influences of adult gonadal steroids.

    PubMed

    Commins, D; Yahr, P

    1984-03-20

    The morphology of the medial preoptic area-anterior hypothalamus (MPOA-AH) of gerbils is sexually dimorphic and influenced by adult gonadal hormones. This research shows that the distribution of (MPOA-AH) cells that synthesize acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and the activity of AChE within the MPOA-AH are also sexually dimorphic and hormone sensitive. Adult male and female gerbils were gonadectomized, gonadectomized and implanted subcutaneously with testosterone (T), or sham operated 4-8 weeks before sacrifice. Coronal sections through the sexually dimorphic area (SDA) of the MPOA-AH were stained for AChE. Planimeter measurements of camera lucida drawings showed that the total volume of the SDA is similar in the two sexes, but the proportion of the SDA that stains darkly and/or stands out clearly from the surround (dark volume) is larger in males. Optical density readings also indicated that AChE staining is darker in the male SDA. Gonadectomy decreases staining intensity in both sexes and reduces total SDA volume. Dark volume decreases more than 50%. Testosterone treatment reverses all effects of gonadectomy, although hormonal influences are smaller in females than in males. There were no sex differences or hormonal influences on AChE staining lateral to the SDA. The pars compacta of the male SDA was essentially devoid of AChE, indicating that this cell group is distinct from the rest of the SDA. It also shrinks after castration unless the males receive T. Histochemical changes in the SDA may be related to hormonal control of scent marking, a form of communication in this species. PMID:6715576

  11. Sexual dimorphism in the compound eye of Heliconius erato: a nymphalid butterfly with at least five spectral classes of photoreceptor.

    PubMed

    McCulloch, Kyle J; Osorio, Daniel; Briscoe, Adriana D

    2016-08-01

    Most butterfly families expand the number of spectrally distinct photoreceptors in their compound eye by opsin gene duplications together with lateral filter pigments; however, most nymphalid genera have limited diversity, with only three or four spectral types of photoreceptor. Here, we examined the spatial pattern of opsin expression and photoreceptor spectral sensitivities in Heliconius erato, a nymphalid with duplicate ultraviolet opsin genes, UVRh1 and UVRh2 We found that the H. erato compound eye is sexually dimorphic. Females express the two UV opsin proteins in separate photoreceptors, but males do not express UVRh1. Intracellular recordings confirmed that females have three short wavelength-sensitive photoreceptors (λmax=356, ∼390 and 470 nm), while males have two (λmax=390 and ∼470 nm). We also found two long wavelength-sensitive photoreceptors (green, λmax∼555 nm, and red, λmax∼600 nm), which express the same LW opsin. The red cell's shifted sensitivity is probably due to perirhabdomal filtering pigments. Sexual dimorphism of the UV-absorbing rhodopsins may reflect the females' need to discriminate conspecifics from co-mimics. Red-green color vision may be used to detect differences in red coloration on Heliconius wings, or for host-plant identification. Among nymphalids so far investigated, only H. erato is known to possess five spectral classes of photoreceptor; sexual dimorphism of the eye via suppression of one class of opsin (here UVRh1 in males) has not - to our knowledge - been reported in any animal. PMID:27247318

  12. Sexual dimorphism of miRNA expression: a new perspective in understanding the sex bias of autoimmune diseases

    PubMed Central

    Dai, Rujuan; Ahmed, S Ansar

    2014-01-01

    Autoimmune diseases encompass a diverse group of diseases which emanate from a dysregulated immune system that launches a damaging attack on its own tissues. Autoimmune attacks on self tissues can occur in any organ or body system. A notable feature of autoimmune disease is that a majority of these disorders occur predominantly in females. The precise basis of sex bias in autoimmune diseases is complex and potentially involves sex chromosomes, sex hormones, and sex-specific gene regulation in response to internal and external stimuli. Epigenetic regulation of genes, especially by microRNAs (miRNAs), is now attracting significant attention. miRNAs are small, non-protein-coding RNAs that are predicted to regulate a majority of human genes, including those involved in immune regulation. Therefore, it is not surprising that dysregulated miRNAs are evident in many diseases, including autoimmune diseases. Because there are marked sex differences in the incidence of autoimmune diseases, this review focuses on the role of sex factors on miRNA expression in the context of autoimmune diseases, an aspect not addressed thus far. Here, we initially review miRNA biogenesis and miRNA regulation of immunity and autoimmunity. We then summarize the recent findings of sexual dimorphism of miRNA expression in diverse tissues, which imply a critical role of miRNA in sex differentiation and in sex-specific regulation of tissue development and/or function. We also discuss the important contribution of the X chromosome and sex hormones to the sexual dimorphism of miRNA expression. Understanding sexually dimorphic miRNA expression in sex-biased autoimmune diseases not only offers us new insight into the mechanism of sex bias of the disease but will also aid us in developing new sex-based therapeutic strategies for the efficient treatment of these diseases with a sex bias. PMID:24623979

  13. The dynamics of resource allocation and costs of reproduction in a sexually dimorphic, wind-pollinated dioecious plant.

    PubMed

    Teitel, Z; Pickup, M; Field, D L; Barrett, S C H

    2016-01-01

    Sexual dimorphism in resource allocation is expected to change during the life cycle of dioecious plants because of temporal differences between the sexes in reproductive investment. Given the potential for sex-specific differences in reproductive costs, resource availability may contribute to variation in reproductive allocation in females and males. Here, we used Rumex hastatulus, a dioecious, wind-pollinated annual plant, to investigate whether sexual dimorphism varies with life-history stage and nutrient availability, and determine whether allocation patterns differ depending on reproductive commitment. To examine if the costs of reproduction varied between the sexes, reproduction was either allowed or prevented through bud removal, and biomass allocation was measured at maturity. In a second experiment to assess variation in sexual dimorphism across the life cycle, and whether this varied with resource availability, plants were grown in high and low nutrients and allocation to roots, aboveground vegetative growth and reproduction were measured at three developmental stages. Males prevented from reproducing compensated with increased above- and belowground allocation to a much larger degree than females, suggesting that male reproductive costs reduce vegetative growth. The proportional allocation to roots, reproductive structures and aboveground vegetative growth varied between the sexes and among life-cycle stages, but not with nutrient treatment. Females allocated proportionally more resources to roots than males at peak flowering, but this pattern was reversed at reproductive maturity under low-nutrient conditions. Our study illustrates the importance of temporal dynamics in sex-specific resource allocation and provides support for high male reproductive costs in wind-pollinated plants. PMID:25865555

  14. Sexually-dimorphic expression of tyrosine hydroxylase immunoreactivity in the brain of a vocal teleost fish (Porichthys notatus).

    PubMed

    Goebrecht, Geraldine K E; Kowtoniuk, Robert A; Kelly, Brenda G; Kittelberger, J Matthew

    2014-03-01

    Vocal communication has emerged as a powerful model for the study of neural mechanisms of social behavior. Modulatory neurochemicals postulated to play a central role in social behavior, related to motivation, arousal, incentive and reward, include the catecholamines, particularly dopamine and noradrenaline. Many questions remain regarding the functional mechanisms by which these modulators interact with sensory and motor systems. Here, we begin to address these questions in a model system for vocal and social behavior, the plainfin midshipman fish (Porichthys notatus). We mapped the distribution of immunoreactivity for the catecholamine-synthesizing enzyme tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) in the midshipman brain. The general pattern of TH(+) cell groups in midshipman appears to be highly conserved with other teleost fish, with a few exceptions, including the apparent absence of pretectal catecholamine cells. Many components of the midshipman vocal and auditory systems were innervated by TH(+) fibers and terminals, including portions of the subpallial area ventralis, the preoptic complex, and the anterior hypothalamus, the midbrain periaqueductal gray and torus semicircularis, several hindbrain auditory nuclei, and parts of the hindbrain vocal pattern generator. These areas thus represent potential sites for catecholamine modulation of vocal and/or auditory behavior. To begin to test functionally whether catecholamines modulate vocal social behaviors, we hypothesized that male and female midshipman, which are sexually dimorphic in both their vocal-motor repertoires and in their responses to hearing conspecific vocalizations, should exhibit sexually dimorphic expression of TH immunoreactivity in their vocal and/or auditory systems. We used quantitative immunohistochemical techniques to test this hypothesis across a number of brain areas. We found significantly higher levels of TH expression in male midshipman relative to females in the TH cell population in the

  15. A Lack of Sexual Dimorphism in Width-to-Height Ratio in White European Faces Using 2D Photographs, 3D Scans, and Anthropometry

    PubMed Central

    Kramer, Robin S. S.; Jones, Alex L.; Ward, Robert

    2012-01-01

    Facial width-to-height ratio has received a great deal of attention in recent research. Evidence from human skulls suggests that males have a larger relative facial width than females, and that this sexual dimorphism is an honest signal of masculinity, aggression, and related traits. However, evidence that this measure is sexually dimorphic in faces, rather than skulls, is surprisingly weak. We therefore investigated facial width-to-height ratio in three White European samples using three different methods of measurement: 2D photographs, 3D scans, and anthropometry. By measuring the same individuals with multiple methods, we demonstrated high agreement across all measures. However, we found no evidence of sexual dimorphism in the face. In our third study, we also found a link between facial width-to-height ratio and body mass index for both males and females, although this relationship did not account for the lack of dimorphism in our sample. While we showed sufficient power to detect differences between male and female width-to-height ratio, our results failed to support the general hypothesis of sexual dimorphism in the face. PMID:22880088

  16. Meek males and fighting females: sexually-dimorphic antipredator behavior and locomotor performance is explained by morphology in bark scorpions (Centruroides vittatus).

    PubMed

    Carlson, Bradley E; McGinley, Shannen; Rowe, Matthew P

    2014-01-01

    Sexual dimorphism can result from sexual or ecological selective pressures, but the importance of alternative reproductive roles and trait compensation in generating phenotypic differences between the sexes is poorly understood. We evaluated morphological and behavioral sexual dimorphism in striped bark scorpions (Centruroides vittatus). We propose that reproductive roles have driven sexually dimorphic body mass in this species which produces sex differences in locomotor performance. Poor locomotor performance in the females (due to the burden of being gravid) favors compensatory aggression as part of an alternative defensive strategy, while male morphology is coadapted to support a sprinting-based defensive strategy. We tested the effects of sex and morphology on stinging and sprinting performance and characterized overall differences between the sexes in aggressiveness towards simulated threats. Greater body mass was associated with higher sting rates and slower sprinting within sexes, which explained the greater aggression of females (the heavier sex) and, along with longer legs in males, the improved sprint performance in males. These findings suggest females are aggressive to compensate for locomotor costs of reproduction while males possess longer legs to enhance sprinting for predator evasion and mate finding. Sexual dimorphism in the metasoma ("tail") was unrelated to stinging and sprinting performance and may best be explained by sexual selection. PMID:24870611

  17. Meek Males and Fighting Females: Sexually-Dimorphic Antipredator Behavior and Locomotor Performance Is Explained by Morphology in Bark Scorpions (Centruroides vittatus)

    PubMed Central

    Carlson, Bradley E.; McGinley, Shannen; Rowe, Matthew P.

    2014-01-01

    Sexual dimorphism can result from sexual or ecological selective pressures, but the importance of alternative reproductive roles and trait compensation in generating phenotypic differences between the sexes is poorly understood. We evaluated morphological and behavioral sexual dimorphism in striped bark scorpions (Centruroides vittatus). We propose that reproductive roles have driven sexually dimorphic body mass in this species which produces sex differences in locomotor performance. Poor locomotor performance in the females (due to the burden of being gravid) favors compensatory aggression as part of an alternative defensive strategy, while male morphology is coadapted to support a sprinting-based defensive strategy. We tested the effects of sex and morphology on stinging and sprinting performance and characterized overall differences between the sexes in aggressiveness towards simulated threats. Greater body mass was associated with higher sting rates and slower sprinting within sexes, which explained the greater aggression of females (the heavier sex) and, along with longer legs in males, the improved sprint performance in males. These findings suggest females are aggressive to compensate for locomotor costs of reproduction while males possess longer legs to enhance sprinting for predator evasion and mate finding. Sexual dimorphism in the metasoma (“tail”) was unrelated to stinging and sprinting performance and may best be explained by sexual selection. PMID:24870611

  18. Plasma kisspeptin levels are elevated in cord blood and present sexual dimorphism in the adult population: relation with leptin, gonadotropins and anthropometrical data.

    PubMed

    Pita, Jimena; Rado-Peralta, Sandra; Gavela-Pérez, Teresa; Aragón, Isabel; Barrios, Vicente; Rovira, Adela; Argente, Jesús; Soriano-Guillén, Leandro

    2011-05-01

    Kisspeptin, the product of the hypothalamic KISS1 gene, is a main regulator of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis and could be a link between metabolism and reproduction through its interaction with leptin. Kisspeptin could be involved in gonadotropin regulation and responsive to leptin levels from the first stages of life, exhibiting, as does leptin, sexual dimorphism. To test our hypothesis, we have analyzed plasma kisspeptin levels and their possible relationship with gonadotropins and leptin in a cohort composed of newborns (n = 86) and adults (n = 55). Plasma kisspeptin, gonadotropin and leptin levels were measured by RIA and multiplexed bead immunoassays, respectively. We have built a multivariate linear regression model (analyzing kisspeptin and LH separately as dependent variables) by stepwise analysis, incorporating the variables that had shown significant correlation in the univariate analysis. Cord blood samples exhibited high kisspeptin levels 127.01(113-141.02 pmol/l), but these were not sexually dimorphic. The adult population exhibited sexual dimorphism (3.72(2.95-4.49) vs. 1.77(1.23-2.31)pmol/l women vs. men, p<0.05). Leptin levels showed sexual dimorphism in cord blood samples and also in the adult population. Furthermore, there was a significant interaction between LH and kisspeptin levels and kisspeptin was negatively correlated with age. The high kisspeptin levels observed in cord blood, with no sexual dimorphism, suggest a placental source. The sexual dimorphism exhibited in adulthood supports the notion that there are different sources and/or differential kisspeptin regulation between men and women. PMID:21295095

  19. Sexual competition and N supply interactively affect the dimorphism and competiveness of opposite sexes in Populus cathayana.

    PubMed

    Chen, Juan; Dong, Tingfa; Duan, Baoli; Korpelainen, Helena; Niinemets, Ülo; Li, Chunyang

    2015-07-01

    Several important dioecious species show sexual spatial segregation (SSS) along environmental gradients that have significant ecological effect on terrestrial ecosystem. However, little attention has been paid to understanding of how males and females respond to environmental gradients and sexual competition. We compared eco-physiological parameters of males and females of Populus cathayana under different sexual competition patterns and nitrogen (N) supply levels. We found that males and females interacting with the same or opposite sex showed significant differences in biomass partition, photosynthetic capacity, carbon (C) and N metabolism, and leaf ultrastructure, and that the sexual differences to competition were importantly driven by N supply. The intersexual competition was enhanced under high N, while the intrasexual competition among females was amplified under low N. Under high N, the intersexual competition stimulated the growth of the females and negatively affected the males. In contrast, under low N, the males exposed to intrasexual competition had the highest tolerance, whereas females exposed to intrasexual competition showed the lowest adaptation among all competition patterns. Sexual competition patterns and N supply levels significantly affected the sexual dimorphism and competitiveness, which may play an important role in spatial segregation of P. cathayana populations. PMID:25366665

  20. Ontogenetic metamorphosis and extreme sexual dimorphism in lumpsuckers: Eumicrotremus asperrimus, Cyclopteropsis bergi and Cyclopteropsis lindbergi, may be synonymous.

    PubMed

    Hatano, M; Abe, T; Wada, T; Munehara, H

    2015-03-01

    Cyclopterids were hatched from egg batches that were laid in two empty buccinid snail shells collected from a depth of 340 m in the Sea of Japan. Larvae were reared to identify species and to describe the morphological changes associated with metamorphosis. The fin rays of all fins were mostly complete and the pelvic fins were modified to form suckers, or adhesive discs, at the time of hatching. Juveniles immediately attached themselves to the bottom and there was no planktonic stage. The body surface was smooth with no spines or bony tubercles. At 4 months after hatching, the fine spines present on the head and trunk of juveniles transformed into bony tubercles. At 7 months after hatching, fishes became sexually dimorphic including the position and development patterns of bony tubercles. Importantly, these sexually dimorphic changes in morphology corresponded closely with descriptions of different species. Specifically, females could be classified as Eumicrotremus asperrimus, and young and fully developed males as Cyclopteropsis bergi and Cyclopteropsis lindbergi, respectively. These observations resolved a previously ambiguous hypothesis regarding the taxonomy of these cyclopterid taxa. Cyclopteropsis bergi and C. lindbergi may be synonyms of E. asperrimus. PMID:25677849

  1. Sexually dimorphic effects of gestational endocrine-disrupting chemicals on microRNA expression in the developing rat hypothalamus.

    PubMed

    Topper, Viktoria Y; Walker, Deena M; Gore, Andrea C

    2015-10-15

    This study examined developmental changes and sexual dimorphisms in hypothalamic microRNAs, and whether gestational exposures to environmental endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) altered their expression patterns. Pregnant rat dams were treated on gestational days 16 and 18 with vehicle, estradiol benzoate, or a mixture of polychlorinated biphenyls. Male and female offspring were euthanized on postnatal days (P) 15, 30, 45, or 90, and microRNA and mRNA targets were quantified in the medial preoptic nucleus (MPN) and ventromedial nucleus (VMN) of the hypothalamus. MicroRNAs showed robust developmental changes in both regions, and were sexually dimorphic in the MPN, but not VMN. Importantly, microRNAs in females were up-regulated by EDCs at P30, and down-regulated in males at P90. Few changes in mRNAs were found. Thus, hypothalamic microRNAs are sensitive to prenatal EDC treatment in a sex-, developmental age-, and brain region-specific manner. PMID:26190835

  2. Transcriptome Analysis of Sexually Dimorphic Chinese White Wax Scale Insects Reveals Key Differences in Developmental Programs and Transcription Factor Expression

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Pu; Chen, Xiao-Ming; Liu, Wei-Wei; Feng, Ying; Sun, Tao

    2015-01-01

    The Chinese white wax scale insect, Ericerus pela, represents one of the most dramatic examples of sexual dimorphism in any insect species. In this study, we showed that although E. pela males display complete metamorphosis similar to holometabolous insects, the species forms the sister group to Acyrthosiphon pisum and cluster with hemimetabolous insects. The gene expression profile and Gene Ontology (GO) analyses revealed that the two sexes engaged in distinct developmental programs. In particular, female development appeared to prioritize the expression of genes related to cellular, metabolic, and developmental processes and to anatomical structure formation in nymphs. By contrast, male nymphal development is characterized by the significant down-regulation of genes involved in chitin, the respiratory system, and neurons. The wing and appendage morphogenesis, anatomical and tissue structure morphogenesis programs activated after male nymphal development. Transcription factors (that convey juvenile hormone or ecdysone signals, and Hox genes) and DNA methyltransferase were also differentially expressed between females and males. These results may indicate the roles that these differentially expressed genes play in regulating sexual dimorphism through orchestrating complex genetic programs. This differential expression was particularly prominent for processes linked to female development and wing development in males. PMID:25634031

  3. Complex Population Patterns of Eunica tatila Herrich-Schäffer (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae), with Special Emphasis on Sexual Dimorphism.

    PubMed

    Cavanzón-Medrano, L; Pozo, C; Hénaut, Y; Legal, L; Salas-Suárez, N; Machkour-M'Rabet, S

    2016-04-01

    The species Eunica tatila (Herrich-Schäffer) is present in the Neotropical region and comprises three subspecies. In Mexico, only one subspecies is reported: E. t. tatila (Herrich-Schäffer). The Yucatan Peninsula, in southeastern Mexico, is located in a transitional geographical position, between southern Florida, the West Indies and Central America. It is part of a transitional region, important for the dispersion of insects from southern Florida via Cuba and the Yucatan Peninsula. Considering the possibility of the overlapping and delimitation of described subspecies, we sampled different populations in the Yucatan Peninsula to possibly assign a subspecies name and evaluate the magnitude of sexual dimorphism. We collected 591 individuals (♀284, ♂307) in conserved areas. The study of male genitalia led to the identification of Eunica tatila tatilista (Kaye) as a subspecies; however, hypandrium structure and wing pattern analysis suggest a mix of E. t. tatila and E. t. tatilista characteristics. The analysis of sexual dimorphism provided evidence of more complex wing morphs for females, with 12 patterns instead of four as previously described. Our results demonstrate the complexity of characterizing E. tatila and suggest that the Yucatan Peninsula is a transitional zone for subspecies of some butterflies. PMID:26677083

  4. Transcriptome analysis of sexually dimorphic Chinese white wax scale insects reveals key differences in developmental programs and transcription factor expression.

    PubMed

    Yang, Pu; Chen, Xiao-Ming; Liu, Wei-Wei; Feng, Ying; Sun, Tao

    2015-01-01

    The Chinese white wax scale insect, Ericerus pela, represents one of the most dramatic examples of sexual dimorphism in any insect species. In this study, we showed that although E. pela males display complete metamorphosis similar to holometabolous insects, the species forms the sister group to Acyrthosiphon pisum and cluster with hemimetabolous insects. The gene expression profile and Gene Ontology (GO) analyses revealed that the two sexes engaged in distinct developmental programs. In particular, female development appeared to prioritize the expression of genes related to cellular, metabolic, and developmental processes and to anatomical structure formation in nymphs. By contrast, male nymphal development is characterized by the significant down-regulation of genes involved in chitin, the respiratory system, and neurons. The wing and appendage morphogenesis, anatomical and tissue structure morphogenesis programs activated after male nymphal development. Transcription factors (that convey juvenile hormone or ecdysone signals, and Hox genes) and DNA methyltransferase were also differentially expressed between females and males. These results may indicate the roles that these differentially expressed genes play in regulating sexual dimorphism through orchestrating complex genetic programs. This differential expression was particularly prominent for processes linked to female development and wing development in males. PMID:25634031

  5. Carotenoid-based coloration, condition, and immune responsiveness in the nestlings of a sexually dimorphic bird of prey.

    PubMed

    Sternalski, Audrey; Mougeot, François; Pérez-Rodríguez, Lorenzo; Bretagnolle, Vincent

    2012-01-01

    In many birds, nestlings exhibit brightly colored traits that are pigmented by carotenoids. Carotenoids are diet limited and also serve important health-related physiological functions. The proximate mechanisms behind the expression of these carotenoid-pigmented traits are still poorly known, especially in nestlings with sexual size dimorphism. In these nestlings, intrabrood competition levels and growth strategies likely differ between sexes, and this may in turn influence carotenoid allocation rules. We used dietary carotenoid supplementation to test whether wild marsh harrier (Circus aeruginosus) nestlings were carotenoid limited and whether carotenoid allocation strategies varied between sexes, which differ in their size and growth strategies. When supplemented, nestlings used the supplemental carotenoids to increase their coloration independently of their sex. We showed that the condition dependence of the carotenoid level and the response to an immune challenge (phytohemagglutinin test) differed between sexes, possibly because sexual size dimorphism influences growth strategies and/or intrabrood competition levels and access to different types of food. In this species, which often feeds on mammals, a trade-off likely exists between food quantity (energy) and quality (carotenoid content). Finally, carotenoid-based coloration expressed in marsh harrier nestlings appeared to be indicative of immune responsiveness rather than condition, therefore potentially advertising to parents nestling quality or value rather than nutritional need. PMID:22705486

  6. Castration reversibly alters levels of cholecystokinin immunoreactivity within cells of three interconnected sexually dimorphic forebrain nuclei in the rat.

    PubMed Central

    Simerly, R B; Swanson, L W

    1987-01-01

    Three sexually dimorphic cell groups in the forebrain of the rat--the central part of the medial preoptic nucleus, the encapsulated part of the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, and the posterodorsal part of the medial nucleus of the amygdala--are larger in males, contain a high density of gonadal-steroid-concentrating cells, and are thought to play important roles in the control of reproductive behavior and physiology. Since each of these regions contains a large number of cholecystokinin-immunoreactive cells, we used an indirect immunohistochemical method to examine the possibility that levels of this peptide are modulated by circulating gonadal steroids in adult male rats. Rats were castrated at 60 days of age, and one group each was pretreated with colchicine and then killed 3, 7, and 14 days after gonadectomy. Castration clearly decreased CCK immunoreactivity within cells of each region, with the most dramatic effects occurring 7 and 14 days after gonadectomy, and these effects were reversed by treatment with testosterone over a 14-day period. The results suggest that CCK levels within individual cells in each of the interconnected sexually dimorphic nuclei examined here are regulated by circulating gonadal steroids and may be related to the hormonal modulation of reproductive functions thought to be mediated by these cell groups. Images PMID:3550806

  7. The nutritionally responsive transcriptome of the polyphenic beetle Onthophagus taurus and the importance of sexual dimorphism and body region

    PubMed Central

    Kijimoto, Teiya; Snell-Rood, Emilie C.; Pespeni, Melissa H.; Rocha, Guilherme; Kafadar, Karen; Moczek, Armin P.

    2014-01-01

    Developmental responses to nutritional variation represent one of the ecologically most important classes of adaptive plasticity. However, knowledge of genome-wide patterns of nutrition-responsive gene expression is limited. Here, we studied genome-wide transcriptional responses to nutritional variation and their dependency on trait and sex in the beetle Onthophagus taurus. We find that averaged across the transcriptome, nutrition contributes less to overall variation in gene expression than do sex or body region, but that for a modest subset of genes nutrition is by far the most important determinant of expression variation. Furthermore, our results reject the hypothesis that a common machinery may underlie nutrition-sensitive development across body regions. Instead, we find that magnitude (measured by number of differentially expressed contigs), composition (measured by functional enrichment) and evolutionary consequences (measured by patterns of sequence variation) are heavily dependent on exactly which body region is considered and the degree of sexual dimorphism observed on a morphological level. More generally, our findings illustrate that studies into the developmental mechanisms and evolutionary consequences of nutrition-biased gene expression must take into account the dynamics and complexities imposed by other sources of variation in gene expression such as sexual dimorphism and trait type. PMID:25377458

  8. Placental contribution to the origins of sexual dimorphism in health and diseases: sex chromosomes and epigenetics.

    PubMed

    Gabory, Anne; Roseboom, Tessa J; Moore, Tom; Moore, Lorna G; Junien, Claudine

    2013-01-01

    Sex differences occur in most non-communicable diseases, including metabolic diseases, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, psychiatric and neurological disorders and cancer. In many cases, the susceptibility to these diseases begins early in development. The observed differences between the sexes may result from genetic and hormonal differences and from differences in responses to and interactions with environmental factors, including infection, diet, drugs and stress. The placenta plays a key role in fetal growth and development and, as such, affects the fetal programming underlying subsequent adult health and accounts, in part for the developmental origin of health and disease (DOHaD). There is accumulating evidence to demonstrate the sex-specific relationships between diverse environmental influences on placental functions and the risk of disease later in life. As one of the few tissues easily collectable in humans, this organ may therefore be seen as an ideal system for studying how male and female placenta sense nutritional and other stresses, such as endocrine disruptors. Sex-specific regulatory pathways controlling sexually dimorphic characteristics in the various organs and the consequences of lifelong differences in sex hormone expression largely account for such responses. However, sex-specific changes in epigenetic marks are generated early after fertilization, thus before adrenal and gonad differentiation in the absence of sex hormones and in response to environmental conditions. Given the abundance of X-linked genes involved in placentogenesis, and the early unequal gene expression by the sex chromosomes between males and females, the role of X- and Y-chromosome-linked genes, and especially those involved in the peculiar placenta-specific epigenetics processes, giving rise to the unusual placenta epigenetic landscapes deserve particular attention. However, even with recent developments in this field, we still know little about the mechanisms

  9. TRPV4 deficiency causes sexual dimorphism in bone metabolism and osteoporotic fracture risk.

    PubMed

    van der Eerden, B C J; Oei, L; Roschger, P; Fratzl-Zelman, N; Hoenderop, J G J; van Schoor, N M; Pettersson-Kymmer, U; Schreuders-Koedam, M; Uitterlinden, A G; Hofman, A; Suzuki, M; Klaushofer, K; Ohlsson, C; Lips, P J A; Rivadeneira, F; Bindels, R J M; van Leeuwen, J P T M

    2013-12-01

    We explored the role of transient receptor potential vanilloid 4 (TRPV4) in murine bone metabolism and association of TRPV4 gene variants with fractures in humans. Urinary and histomorphometrical analyses demonstrated reduced osteoclast activity and numbers in male Trpv4(-/-) mice, which was confirmed in bone marrow-derived osteoclast cultures. Osteoblasts and bone formation as shown by serum procollagen type 1 amino-terminal propeptide and histomorphometry, including osteoid surface, osteoblast and osteocyte numbers were not affected in vivo. Nevertheless, osteoblast differentiation was enhanced in Trpv4(-/-) bone marrow cultures. Cortical and trabecular bone mass was 20% increased in male Trpv4(-/-) mice, compared to sex-matched wild type (Trpv4(+/+)) mice. However, at the same time intracortical porosity was increased and bone matrix mineralization was reduced. Together, these lead to a maximum load, stiffness and work to failure of the femoral bone, which were not different compared to Trpv4(+/+) mice, while the bone material was less resistant to stress and less elastic. The differential impacts on these determinants of bone strength were likely responsible for the lack of any changes in whole bone strength in the Trpv4(-/-) mice. None of these skeletal parameters were affected in female Trpv4(-/-) mice. The T-allele of rs1861809 SNP in the TRPV4 locus was associated with a 30% increased risk (95% CI: 1.1-1.6; p=0.013) for non-vertebral fracture risk in men, but not in women, in the Rotterdam Study. Meta-analyses with the population-based LASA study confirmed the association with non-vertebral fractures in men. This was lost when the non-population-based studies Mr. OS and UFO were included. In conclusion, TRPV4 is a male-specific regulator of bone metabolism, a determinant of bone strength, and a potential risk predictor for fractures through regulation of bone matrix mineralization and intra-cortical porosity. This identifies TRPV4 as a unique sexually

  10. Placental contribution to the origins of sexual dimorphism in health and diseases: sex chromosomes and epigenetics

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Sex differences occur in most non-communicable diseases, including metabolic diseases, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, psychiatric and neurological disorders and cancer. In many cases, the susceptibility to these diseases begins early in development. The observed differences between the sexes may result from genetic and hormonal differences and from differences in responses to and interactions with environmental factors, including infection, diet, drugs and stress. The placenta plays a key role in fetal growth and development and, as such, affects the fetal programming underlying subsequent adult health and accounts, in part for the developmental origin of health and disease (DOHaD). There is accumulating evidence to demonstrate the sex-specific relationships between diverse environmental influences on placental functions and the risk of disease later in life. As one of the few tissues easily collectable in humans, this organ may therefore be seen as an ideal system for studying how male and female placenta sense nutritional and other stresses, such as endocrine disruptors. Sex-specific regulatory pathways controlling sexually dimorphic characteristics in the various organs and the consequences of lifelong differences in sex hormone expression largely account for such responses. However, sex-specific changes in epigenetic marks are generated early after fertilization, thus before adrenal and gonad differentiation in the absence of sex hormones and in response to environmental conditions. Given the abundance of X-linked genes involved in placentogenesis, and the early unequal gene expression by the sex chromosomes between males and females, the role of X- and Y-chromosome-linked genes, and especially those involved in the peculiar placenta-specific epigenetics processes, giving rise to the unusual placenta epigenetic landscapes deserve particular attention. However, even with recent developments in this field, we still know little about the mechanisms

  11. Inferences on mating and sexual systems of two Pacific Cinetorhynchus shrimps (Decapoda, Rhynchocinetidae) based on sexual dimorphism in body size and cheliped weaponry

    PubMed Central

    Bauer, Raymond T.; Okuno, Junji; Thiel, Martin

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Sexual dimorphism in body size and weaponry was examined in two Cinetorhynchus shrimp species in order to formulate hypotheses on their sexual and mating systems. Collections of Cinetorhynchus sp. A and Cinetorhynchus sp. B were made in March, 2011 on Coconut Island, Hawaii, by hand dipnetting and minnow traps in coral rubble bottom in shallow water. Although there is overlap in male and female size, some males are much larger than females. The major (pereopod 1) chelipeds of males are significantly larger and longer than those of females. In these two Cinetorhynchus species, males and females have third maxillipeds of similar relative size, i.e., those of males are not hypertrophied and probably not used as spear-like weapons as in some other rhynchocinetid (Rhynchocinetes) species. Major chelae of males vary with size, changing from typical female-like chelae tipped with black corneous stout setae to subchelate or prehensile appendages in larger males. Puncture wounds or regenerating major chelipeds were observed in 26.1 % of males examined (N = 38 including both species). We interpret this evidence on sexual dimorphism as an indication of a temporary male mate guarding or “neighborhoods of dominance” mating system, in which larger dominant robustus males defend females and have greater mating success than smaller males. Fecundity of females increased with female size, as in most caridean species (500–800 in Cinetorhynchus sp. A; 300–3800 in Cinetorhynchus sp. B). Based on the sample examined, we conclude that these two species have a gonochoric sexual system (separate sexes) like most but not all other rhynchocinetid species in which the sexual system has been investigated. PMID:25561837

  12. Testosterone Affects Neural Gene Expression Differently in Male and Female Juncos: A Role for Hormones in Mediating Sexual Dimorphism and Conflict

    PubMed Central

    Peterson, Mark P.; Rosvall, Kimberly A.; Choi, Jeong-Hyeon; Ziegenfus, Charles; Tang, Haixu; Colbourne, John K.; Ketterson, Ellen D.

    2013-01-01

    Despite sharing much of their genomes, males and females are often highly dimorphic, reflecting at least in part the resolution of sexual conflict in response to sexually antagonistic selection. Sexual dimorphism arises owing to sex differences in gene expression, and steroid hormones are often invoked as a proximate cause of sexual dimorphism. Experimental elevation of androgens can modify behavior, physiology, and gene expression, but knowledge of the role of hormones remains incomplete, including how the sexes differ in gene expression in response to hormones. We addressed these questions in a bird species with a long history of behavioral endocrinological and ecological study, the dark-eyed junco (Junco hyemalis), using a custom microarray. Focusing on two brain regions involved in sexually dimorphic behavior and regulation of hormone secretion, we identified 651 genes that differed in expression by sex in medial amygdala and 611 in hypothalamus. Additionally, we treated individuals of each sex with testosterone implants and identified many genes that may be related to previously identified phenotypic effects of testosterone treatment. Some of these genes relate to previously identified effects of testosterone-treatment and suggest that the multiple effects of testosterone may be mediated by modifying the expression of a small number of genes. Notably, testosterone-treatment tended to alter expression of different genes in each sex: only 4 of the 527 genes identified as significant in one sex or the other were significantly differentially expressed in both sexes. Hormonally regulated gene expression is a key mechanism underlying sexual dimorphism, and our study identifies specific genes that may mediate some of these processes. PMID:23613935

  13. Sexual Dimorphism of Staminate- and Pistillate-Phase Flowers of Saponaria officinalis (Bouncing Bet) Affects Pollinator Behavior and Seed Set

    PubMed Central

    Davis, Sandra L.; Dudle, Dana A.; Nawrocki, Jenna R.; Freestone, Leah M.; Konieczny, Peter; Tobin, Michael B.; Britton, Michael M.

    2014-01-01

    The sequential separation of male and female function in flowers of dichogamous species allows for the evolution of differing morphologies that maximize fitness through seed siring and seed set. We examined staminate- and pistillate-phase flowers of protandrous Saponaria officinalis for dimorphism in floral traits and their effects on pollinator attraction and seed set. Pistillate-phase flowers have larger petals, greater mass, and are pinker in color, but due to a shape change, pistillate-phase flowers have smaller corolla diameters than staminate-phase flowers. There was no difference in nectar volume or sugar content one day after anthesis, and minimal evidence for UV nectar guide patterns in staminate- and pistillate-phase flowers. When presented with choice arrays, pollinators discriminated against pistillate-phase flowers based on their pink color. Finally, in an experimental garden, in 2012 there was a negative correlation between seed set of an open-pollinated, emasculated flower and pinkness (as measured by reflectance spectrometry) of a pistillate-phase flower on the same plant in plots covered with shade cloth. In 2013, clones of genotypes chosen from the 2012 plants that produced pinker flowers had lower seed set than those from genotypes with paler flowers. Lower seed set of pink genotypes was found in open-pollinated and hand-pollinated flowers, indicating the lower seed set might be due to other differences between pink and pale genotypes in addition to pollinator discrimination against pink flowers. In conclusion, staminate- and pistillate-phase flowers of S. officinalis are dimorphic in shape and color. Pollinators discriminate among flowers based on these differences, and individuals whose pistillate-phase flowers are most different in color from their staminate-phase flowers make fewer seeds. We suggest morphological studies of the two sex phases in dichogamous, hermaphroditic species can contribute to understanding the evolution of sexual

  14. Sexual dimorphism of staminate- and pistillate-phase flowers of Saponaria officinalis (bouncing bet) affects pollinator behavior and seed set.

    PubMed

    Davis, Sandra L; Dudle, Dana A; Nawrocki, Jenna R; Freestone, Leah M; Konieczny, Peter; Tobin, Michael B; Britton, Michael M

    2014-01-01

    The sequential separation of male and female function in flowers of dichogamous species allows for the evolution of differing morphologies that maximize fitness through seed siring and seed set. We examined staminate- and pistillate-phase flowers of protandrous Saponaria officinalis for dimorphism in floral traits and their effects on pollinator attraction and seed set. Pistillate-phase flowers have larger petals, greater mass, and are pinker in color, but due to a shape change, pistillate-phase flowers have smaller corolla diameters than staminate-phase flowers. There was no difference in nectar volume or sugar content one day after anthesis, and minimal evidence for UV nectar guide patterns in staminate- and pistillate-phase flowers. When presented with choice arrays, pollinators discriminated against pistillate-phase flowers based on their pink color. Finally, in an experimental garden, in 2012 there was a negative correlation between seed set of an open-pollinated, emasculated flower and pinkness (as measured by reflectance spectrometry) of a pistillate-phase flower on the same plant in plots covered with shade cloth. In 2013, clones of genotypes chosen from the 2012 plants that produced pinker flowers had lower seed set than those from genotypes with paler flowers. Lower seed set of pink genotypes was found in open-pollinated and hand-pollinated flowers, indicating the lower seed set might be due to other differences between pink and pale genotypes in addition to pollinator discrimination against pink flowers. In conclusion, staminate- and pistillate-phase flowers of S. officinalis are dimorphic in shape and color. Pollinators discriminate among flowers based on these differences, and individuals whose pistillate-phase flowers are most different in color from their staminate-phase flowers make fewer seeds. We suggest morphological studies of the two sex phases in dichogamous, hermaphroditic species can contribute to understanding the evolution of sexual

  15. New Material of the Hominoid Ouranopithecus macedoniensis from the Late Miocene of the Axios Valley (Macedonia, Greece) with Some Remarks on Its Sexual Dimorphism.

    PubMed

    Koufos, George D; de Bonis, Louis; Kugiumtzis, Dimitris

    2016-01-01

    New hominoid teeth from the late Miocene locality Ravin de la Pluie (RPl) of the Axios Valley (Macedonia, Greece) are studied in this article. Their morphology, dimensions and proportions are similar to the hominoid Ouranopithecus macedoniensis, allowing their attribution to this taxon. The studied material provides some new morphological characters for the female P3 (small asymmetry, small mesiobuccal crown projection, paracone higher than protocone) and the lower canine (mesial groove: large in the male and small in the female, distobuccal fovea: large in the female and small in the male). The new material enriches the collection of O. macedoniensis. The estimated degree of sexual dimorphism of the RPl O. macedoniensis, calculated by the multivariate size dimorphism method, is compared with those of extant hominoids (Gorilla, Pan, Pongo) and of the late Miocene Lufengpithecus lufengensis from China, which is considered as more dimorphic than any living hominoid. The results suggest that Ouranopithecus multivariate size dimorphism for the premolar, molar and post-canine row is similar to those of Pongo and Lufengpithecus, slightly higher than that of Gorilla and clearly higher than that of Pan. Therefore, O. macedoniensis is apparently one of the most sexually dimorphic hominoids and the RPl assemblage is monospecific. PMID:27332885

  16. Quantitative genetics of sexually dimorphic traits and capture of genetic variance by a sexually-selected condition-dependent ornament in red junglefowl (Gallus gallus).

    PubMed

    Parker, T H; Garant, D

    2004-11-01

    We studied the quantitative genetics of sexually selected traits in a captive population of red junglefowl (Gallus gallus L.) using a multi-generational 'animal model' approach. We found significant heritability of mass, tarsus length (both strongly sexually dimorphic), residual mass, and male comb (a fleshy head ornament) length. Residual mass has a genetic correlation between the sexes smaller than unity and so could show partially independent responses to selection in the two sexes. In males, tarsus length and mass were not genetically correlated, and this produced a negative genetic correlation between tarsus length and residual mass. The male red junglefowl's comb, an ornament influencing female choice, is highly condition dependent. We show that expression of this ornament is heritable, however, and shows strong genetic correlation with a condition index, residual mass. Because residual mass is partly influenced by various aspects of condition, it appears that comb size has 'captured' genetic variability in condition. PMID:15525412

  17. Sexual Dimorphism of Kisspeptin and Neurokinin B Immunoreactive Neurons in the Infundibular Nucleus of Aged Men and Women

    PubMed Central

    Hrabovszky, Erik; Molnár, Csilla S.; Sipos, Máté T.; Vida, Barbara; Ciofi, Philippe; Borsay, Beáta A.; Sarkadi, László; Herczeg, László; Bloom, Stephen R.; Ghatei, Mohammad A.; Dhillo, Waljit S.; Kalló, Imre; Liposits, Zsolt

    2011-01-01

    The secretory output of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons is critically influenced by peptidergic neurons synthesizing kisspeptins (KP) and neurokinin B (NKB) in the hypothalamic infundibular nucleus (Inf). These cells mediate negative feedback effects of sex steroids on the reproductive axis. While negative feedback is lost in postmenopausal women, it is partly preserved by the sustained testosterone secretion in aged men. We hypothesized that the different reproductive physiology of aged men and women is reflected in morphological differences of KP and NKB neurons. This sexual dimorphism was studied with immunohistochemistry in hypothalamic sections of aged human male (≥50 years) and female (>55 years) subjects. KP and NKB cell bodies of the Inf were larger in females. The number of KP cell bodies, the density of KP fibers, and the incidence of their contacts on GnRH neurons were much higher in aged women compared with men. The number of NKB cell bodies was only slightly higher in women and there was no sexual dimorphism in the regional density of NKB fibers and the incidence of their appositions onto GnRH cells. The incidences of NKB cell bodies, fibers, and appositions onto GnRH neurons exceeded several-fold those of KP-IR elements in men. More NKB than KP inputs to GnRH cells were also present in women. Immunofluorescent studies identified only partial overlap between KP and NKB axons. KP and NKB were colocalized in higher percentages of afferents to GnRH neurons in women compared with men. Most of these sex differences might be explained with the lack of estrogen negative feedback in aged women, whereas testosterone can continue to suppress KP, and to a lesser extent, NKB synthesis in men. Overall, sex differences in reproductive physiology of aged humans were reflected in the dramatic sexual dimorphism of the KP system, with significantly higher incidences of KP-IR neurons, fibers and inputs to GnRH neurons in aged females vs. males. PMID

  18. Evidence for Sexual Dimorphism in the Plated Dinosaur Stegosaurus mjosi (Ornithischia, Stegosauria) from the Morrison Formation (Upper Jurassic) of Western USA

    PubMed Central

    Saitta, Evan Thomas

    2015-01-01

    Conclusive evidence for sexual dimorphism in non-avian dinosaurs has been elusive. Here it is shown that dimorphism in the shape of the dermal plates of Stegosaurus mjosi (Upper Jurassic, western USA) does not result from non-sex-related individual, interspecific, or ontogenetic variation and is most likely a sexually dimorphic feature. One morph possessed wide, oval plates 45% larger in surface area than the tall, narrow plates of the other morph. Intermediate morphologies are lacking as principal component analysis supports marked size- and shape-based dimorphism. In contrast, many non-sex-related individual variations are expected to show intermediate morphologies. Taphonomy of a new quarry in Montana (JRDI 5ES Quarry) shows that at least five individuals were buried in a single horizon and were not brought together by water or scavenger transportation. This new site demonstrates co-existence, and possibly suggests sociality, between two morphs that only show dimorphism in their plates. Without evidence for niche partitioning, it is unlikely that the two morphs represent different species. Histology of the new specimens in combination with studies on previous specimens indicates that both morphs occur in fully-grown individuals. Therefore, the dimorphism is not a result of ontogenetic change. Furthermore, the two morphs of plates do not simply come from different positions on the back of a single individual. Plates from all positions on the body can be classified as one of the two morphs, and previously discovered, isolated specimens possess only one morph of plates. Based on the seemingly display-oriented morphology of plates, female mate choice was likely the driving evolutionary mechanism rather than male-male competition. Dinosaur ornamentation possibly served similar functions to the ornamentation of modern species. Comparisons to ornamentation involved in sexual selection of extant species, such as the horns of bovids, may be appropriate in predicting the

  19. Variable preferences for sexual dimorphism in height as a strategy for increasing the pool of potential partners in humans.

    PubMed Central

    Pawłowski, Bogusław

    2003-01-01

    Human mate preferences are known to be related to a number of morphological traits. Those relating to female waist-to-hip ratio or body mass index and to male height appear to be distinctive mate-choice criteria and are known to be related to reproductive success. In addition to absolute height, a possibly important mate-choice criterion may be relative height, i.e. the extent of sexual dimorphism in stature (SDS = male height/female height) between oneself and a potential partner. Here, I demonstrate that people adjust their preferences for SDS in relation to their own height in order to increase the potential pool of partners. This causes nonlinearity in assortative mating in relation to height and shows that in relation to intrapopulational SDS both men and women are responsible for stabilizing selection. PMID:12713744

  20. Sex-specific plasticity of growth and maturation size in a spider: implications for sexual size dimorphism.

    PubMed

    Fernández-Montraveta, C; Moya-Laraño, J

    2007-09-01

    Sex-specific plasticity in body size has been recently proposed to cause intraspecific patterns of variation in sexual size dimorphism (SSD). We reared juvenile male and female Mediterranean tarantulas (Lycosa tarantula) under two feeding regimes and monitored their growth until maturation. Selection gradients calculated across studies show how maturation size is under net stabilizing selection in females and under directional selection in males. This pattern was used to predict that body size should be more canalized in females than in males. As expected, feeding affected male but not female maturation size. The sex-specific response of maturation size was related to a dramatic divergence between subadult male and female growth pathways. These results demonstrate the existence of sex-specific canalization and resource allocation to maturation size in this species, which causes variation in SSD depending on developmental conditions consistent with the differential-plasticity hypothesis explaining Rensch's Rule. PMID:17714286

  1. Does the timing of attainment of maturity influence sexual size dimorphism and adult sex ratio in turtles?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Gibbons, J. Whitfield; Agha, Mickey

    2014-01-01

    The attainment of sexual maturity has been shown to affect measures of sexual size dimorphism (SSD) and adult sex ratios in several groups of vertebrates. Using data for turtles, we tested the model that sex ratios are expected to be male-biased when females are larger than males and female-biased when males are larger than females because of the relationship of each with the attainment of maturity. Our model is based on the premise that the earlier-maturing sex remains smaller, on average throughout life, and predominates numerically unless the sexes are strongly affected by differential mortality, differential emigration, and immigration, or biased primary sex ratios. Based on data for 24 species in seven families, SSD and sex ratios were significantly negatively correlated for most analyses, even after the effect of phylogenetic bias was removed. The analyses provide support for the model that SSD and adult sex ratios are correlated in turtles as a result of simultaneous correlation of each with sexual differences in attainment of maturity (bimaturism). Environmental sex determination provides a possible mechanism for the phenomenon in turtles and some other organisms.

  2. Evaluation of Sexual Dimorphism in the Efficacy and Safety of Simvastatin/Atorvastatin Therapy in a Southern Brazilian Cohort

    PubMed Central

    Smiderle, Lisiane; Lima, Luciana O.; Hutz, Mara Helena; der Sand, Cézar Roberto Van; der Sand, Luiz Carlos Van; Ferreira, Maria Elvira Wagner; Pires, Renan Canibal; Almeida, Silvana; Fiegenbaum, Marilu

    2014-01-01

    Background Dyslipidemia is the primary risk factor for cardiovascular disease, and statins have been effective in controlling lipid levels. Sex differences in the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of statins contribute to interindividual variations in drug efficacy and toxicity. Objective To evaluate the presence of sexual dimorphism in the efficacy and safety of simvastatin/atorvastatin treatment. Methods Lipid levels of 495 patients (331 women and 164 men) were measured at baseline and after 6 ± 3 months of simvastatin/atorvastatin treatment to assess the efficacy and safety profiles of both drugs. Results Women had higher baseline levels of total cholesterol (TC), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) compared with men (p < 0.0001). After treatment, women exhibited a greater decrease in plasma TC and LDL-C levels compared with men. After adjustment for covariates, baseline levels of TC and LDL-C influenced more than 30% of the efficacy of lipid-lowering therapy (p < 0.001), regardless of sex. Myalgia [with or without changes in creatine phosphokinase (CPK) levels] occurred more frequently in women (25.9%; p = 0.002), whereas an increase in CPK and/or abnormal liver function was more frequent in in men (17.9%; p = 0.017). Conclusions Our results show that baseline TC and LDL-C levels are the main predictors of simvastatin/atorvastatin therapy efficacy, regardless of sex. In addition, they suggest the presence of sexual dimorphism in the safety of simvastatin/atorvastatin. The effect of sex differences on receptors, transporter proteins, and gene expression pathways needs to be better evaluated and characterized to confirm these observations. PMID:25120083

  3. Antenatal maternal low protein diet: ACE-2 in the mouse lung and sexually dimorphic programming of hypertension.

    PubMed

    Goyal, Ravi; Van-Wickle, Jonathan; Goyal, Dipali; Longo, Lawrence D

    2015-01-01

    Elevated blood pressure is an important global health problem, and in-utero under-nutrition may be an important factor in the pathogenesis of hypertension. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that antenatal maternal low protein diet (MLPD) leads to sexually dimorphic developmental programming of the components of the pulmonary renin-angiotensin system. This may be important in the antenatal MLPD-associated development of hypertension. In pregnant mice, we administered normal (control) and isocaloric 50% protein restricted diet, commencing one week before mating and continuing until delivery of the pups. From the 18th to 24th week postnatal, we measured blood pressure in the offspring by use of a non-invasive tail-cuff method. In the same mice, we examined the mRNA and protein expression of the key components of the pulmonary renin-angiotensin system. Also, we examined microRNA complementary to angiotensin converting enzymes (ACE) 2 in the offspring lungs. Our results demonstrate that as a consequence of antenatal MLPD: 1) pup birthweight was significantly reduced in both sexes. 2) female offspring developed hypertension, but males did not. 3) In female offspring, ACE-2 protein expression was significantly reduced without any change in the mRNA levels. 4) miRNA 429, which has a binding site on ACE-2 - 3' UTR was significantly upregulated in the female antenatal MLPD offspring. 5) In males, ACE-2 mRNA and protein expression were unaltered. We conclude that in the mouse, antenatal MLPD-induced reduction of ACE-2 in the female offspring lung may be an important mechanisms in sexually dimorphic programming of hypertension. PMID:25971747

  4. Sequence Conservation and Sexually Dimorphic Expression of the Ftz-F1 Gene in the Crustacean Daphnia magna

    PubMed Central

    Mohamad Ishak, Nur Syafiqah; Kato, Yasuhiko; Matsuura, Tomoaki; Watanabe, Hajime

    2016-01-01

    Identifying the genes required for environmental sex determination is important for understanding the evolution of diverse sex determination mechanisms in animals. Orthologs of Drosophila orphan receptor Fushi tarazu factor-1 (Ftz-F1) are known to function in genetic sex determination. In contrast, their roles in environmental sex determination remain unknown. In this study, we have cloned and characterized the Ftz-F1 ortholog in the branchiopod crustacean Daphnia magna, which produces males in response to environmental stimuli. Similar to that observed in Drosophila, D. magna Ftz-F1 (DapmaFtz-F1) produces two splicing variants, αFtz-F1 and βFtz-F1, which encode 699 and 777 amino acids, respectively. Both isoforms share a DNA-binding domain, a ligand-binding domain, and an AF-2 activation domain and differ only at the A/B domain. The phylogenetic position and genomic structure of DapmaFtz-F1 suggested that this gene has diverged from an ancestral gene common to branchiopod crustacean and insect Ftz-F1 genes. qRT-PCR showed that at the one cell and gastrulation stages, both DapmaFtz-F1 isoforms are two-fold more abundant in males than in females. In addition, in later stages, their sexual dimorphic expressions were maintained in spite of reduced expression. Time-lapse imaging of DapmaFtz-F1 RNAi embryos was performed in H2B-GFP expressing transgenic Daphnia, demonstrating that development of the RNAi embryos slowed down after the gastrulation stage and stopped at 30–48 h after ovulation. DapmaFtz-F1 shows high homology to insect Ftz-F1 orthologs based on its amino acid sequence and exon-intron organization. The sexually dimorphic expression of DapmaFtz-F1 suggests that it plays a role in environmental sex determination of D. magna. PMID:27138373

  5. Sequence Conservation and Sexually Dimorphic Expression of the Ftz-F1 Gene in the Crustacean Daphnia magna.

    PubMed

    Mohamad Ishak, Nur Syafiqah; Kato, Yasuhiko; Matsuura, Tomoaki; Watanabe, Hajime

    2016-01-01

    Identifying the genes required for environmental sex determination is important for understanding the evolution of diverse sex determination mechanisms in animals. Orthologs of Drosophila orphan receptor Fushi tarazu factor-1 (Ftz-F1) are known to function in genetic sex determination. In contrast, their roles in environmental sex determination remain unknown. In this study, we have cloned and characterized the Ftz-F1 ortholog in the branchiopod crustacean Daphnia magna, which produces males in response to environmental stimuli. Similar to that observed in Drosophila, D. magna Ftz-F1 (DapmaFtz-F1) produces two splicing variants, αFtz-F1 and βFtz-F1, which encode 699 and 777 amino acids, respectively. Both isoforms share a DNA-binding domain, a ligand-binding domain, and an AF-2 activation domain and differ only at the A/B domain. The phylogenetic position and genomic structure of DapmaFtz-F1 suggested that this gene has diverged from an ancestral gene common to branchiopod crustacean and insect Ftz-F1 genes. qRT-PCR showed that at the one cell and gastrulation stages, both DapmaFtz-F1 isoforms are two-fold more abundant in males than in females. In addition, in later stages, their sexual dimorphic expressions were maintained in spite of reduced expression. Time-lapse imaging of DapmaFtz-F1 RNAi embryos was performed in H2B-GFP expressing transgenic Daphnia, demonstrating that development of the RNAi embryos slowed down after the gastrulation stage and stopped at 30-48 h after ovulation. DapmaFtz-F1 shows high homology to insect Ftz-F1 orthologs based on its amino acid sequence and exon-intron organization. The sexually dimorphic expression of DapmaFtz-F1 suggests that it plays a role in environmental sex determination of D. magna. PMID:27138373

  6. Sexually dimorphic effects of NMDA receptor antagonism on brain-pituitary-gonad axis development in the platyfish

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Flynn, Katherine M.; Miller, Shelly A.; Sower, Stacia A.; Schreibman, Martin P.

    2002-01-01

    The N-methyl-D-aspartate glutamate receptor (NMDAR) is found in hypothalamic nuclei involved in the regulation of reproduction in several species of mammals and fishes. NMDAR is believed to affect reproductive development and function by regulating gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH)-producing cells. These pathways are likely to be sexually dimorphic, as are several other neurotransmitter systems involved in reproductive function. In this report, male and female platyfish received intraperitoneal injections of 0, 5, 10, 20, 40 or 60 microg/g body wt. of the non-competitive NMDAR antagonist MK-801. Injections began at 6 weeks of age and continued thrice weekly until control animals reached puberty, as evidenced by anal fin maturation. The percent of pubescent animals was significantly affected by sex and treatment, with fewer MK-801-injected females in puberty than control females at each dose (P<0.001), and fewer pubescent females than males at 10, 20 and 40 microg/g (P<0.05). There were no MK-801-related effects in males. Histological analyses revealed typical immature gonads and pituitary glands in treated females, and typical mature morphology in control females and all males. Immunocytochemical distribution of the R1 subunit of the NMDAR within the brain-pituitary-gonad (BPG) axis was limited to GnRH-containing brain cells in all animals; however, NMDAR1 distribution was in an immature pattern in treated females and a mature pattern in all others. Neural concentrations of GnRH were unaffected by MK-801 treatment in both sexes. These data suggest that in the platyfish, NMDAR influence on reproductive development is sexually dimorphic and occurs at, or above, the level of GnRH-containing cells of the BPG axis.

  7. Sexual dimorphism in ratio of second and fourth digits and its relationship with metabolic syndrome indices and cardiovascular risk factors

    PubMed Central

    Oyeyemi, Bolaji Fatai; Iyiola, Oluyinka Ajibola; Oyeyemi, Adekunle Wahab; Oricha, Kokori Audu; Anifowoshe, Abass Toba; Alamukii, Nanfizat Abiket

    2014-01-01

    Background: Ratio of second and fourth digit (2D:4D) is known to be germane in analyzing utero concentrations of testosterone and estrogen in human and other vertebrates. 2D:4D had been linked to several traits like athletes’ abilities, reproductive success, risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a clustering of several cardiovascular risk factors. Waist circumference (WC), neck circumference (NC), body mass index (BMI) and waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) are important in measuring MetS. This study investigated sexual dimorphism in 2D:4D and its relationship with MetS indices and CVD factors among adult residing in Ilorin, North central Nigeria. Materials and Methods: This is a cross-sectional, stratified multi-staged sampling study. Participants residing in different neighborhoods were visited at home where finger lengths and anthropometric traits were measured. Participants include 801 healthy adults aged 18-44 years (56% male) who had been living in the area for more than 3 years. Results: Males showed significantly lower 2D:4D than females (unpaired t-test; t [699] = 11.49, P = 0.001). A significant positive correlation was observed in MetS markers and 2D:4D. WHtR showed the highest correlation with 2D:4D in male (r = 0.461, P ≤ 0.001) and female (r = 0.408, P ≤ 0.001) when compared with BMI, NC and WC. All positive correlations recorded in this study were high in male and right hand. Conclusion: Our results showed that 2D:4D is sexual dimorphic and right hand 2D:4D as a predictor of MetS is better. We concluded that 2D:4D is a proxy for MetS and CVD risk factors in Ilorin. PMID:24949031

  8. Sexually dimorphic immunoreactivity of galanin and colocalization with arginine vasotocin in the chicken brain (Gallus gallus domesticus).

    PubMed

    Klein, Sabine; Jurkevich, Aleksandr; Grossmann, Roland

    2006-12-10

    The bed nucleus of the stria terminalis medialis (BSTM) of adult chickens (Gallus gallus domesticus) was previously shown to synthesize arginine vasotocin (AVT) in males only and coincides spatially and temporally with steroid activity regulating male reproductive behavior. Galanin has been shown to be a potent modulator of the behavioral and neuroendocrine responses in the mammalian BSTM and in other sexually dimorphic brain regions. In the present study of adult chickens the morphological relationship of AVT and galanin was examined by immunohistochemical analysis of two limbic structures, the BSTM and the lateral septum (SL). The analysis also included the hypothalamic nuclei supraopticus (SON) and paraventricularis (PVN). In males galanin and AVT were both synthesized in the BSTM, while in females neither galanin nor AVT was present. Furthermore, in the males galanin and AVT were colocalized in the majority of neurons within BSTM and in fibers of the SL. In both sexes galanin neurons in the PVN were scattered between the distinct clusters of AVT neurons and there was no colocalization of galanin and AVT in single PVN neurons. Furthermore, AVT immunoreactivity was significantly higher in the SON than in the PVN in both sexes. In the SON, galanin was colocalized with AVT in significantly more neurons in hens than in males (P sexually dimorphic not only in the limbic BSTM but also in the hypothalamic SON. It is tempting to speculate that galanin in the SON is involved in regulation of oviposition as an AVT-dependent female-specific function. PMID:17048233

  9. Sexual dimorphism of sulcal morphology of the ferret cerebrum revealed by MRI-based sulcal surface morphometry

    PubMed Central

    Sawada, Kazuhiko; Horiuchi-Hirose, Miwa; Saito, Shigeyoshi; Aoki, Ichio

    2015-01-01

    The present study quantitatively assessed sexual dimorphism of cortical convolution and sulcal morphology in young adult ferrets by MRI-based sulcal surface morphometry. Ex vivo T1-weighted (short TR/TE) MRI of the ferret cerebrum was acquired with high spatial resolution at 7-tesla. The degree of cortical convolution, evaluated quantitatively based on 3D MRI data by sulcation index (SI), was significantly greater in males (0.553 ± 0.036) than in females (0.502 ± 0.043) (p < 0.001). The rostrocaudal distribution of the cortical convolution revealed a greater convolution in the frontal region of the cortex in males than in females and by a posterior extension of the convolution in the temporo-parieto-occipital region of males. Although the cerebral width in the frontal region was not different between sexes, the rhinal fissure and rostral region of splenial sulcus were more infolded in males than in females. On the contrary, the cerebral width was greater in males in the temporo-parieto-occipital region, and male-prominent posterior extension of infolding was noted in the lateral sulcus, caudal suprasylvian sulcus, pesudosylvian sulcus, hippocampal sulcus, and the caudal region of splenial sulcus. Notably, the caudal descending region of lateral sulcus was clearly infolded in males, but obscured in females. The present results suggest a region-related sexual dimorphism of the sulcal infolding, which is reflected by local cortical expansion in the ferret cerebrum. In particular, male-favored sulcal infolding with expansion of the temporo-parieto-occipital neocortex may be relevant to the human cerebral cortex regarding visuo-spatial and emotion processing, which are known to differ between sexes. The present results will provide fundamental information assessing sex-related changes in the regional sulcal infolding, when ferrets with experimentally-induced gyrification abnormality will be used as models for male-prevalent or male-earlier-onset neurodevelopmental

  10. Sexual selection on male size drives the evolution of male-biased sexual size dimorphism via the prolongation of male development.

    PubMed

    Rohner, Patrick T; Blanckenhorn, Wolf U; Puniamoorthy, Nalini

    2016-06-01

    Sexual size dimorphism (SSD) arises when the net effects of natural and sexual selection on body size differ between the sexes. Quantitative SSD variation between taxa is common, but directional intraspecific SSD reversals are rare. We combined micro- and macroevolutionary approaches to study geographic SSD variation in closely related black scavenger flies. Common garden experiments revealed stark intra- and interspecific variation: Sepsis biflexuosa is monomorphic across the Holarctic, while S. cynipsea (only in Europe) consistently exhibits female-biased SSD. Interestingly, S. neocynipsea displays contrasting SSD in Europe (females larger) and North America (males larger), a pattern opposite to the geographic reversal in SSD of S. punctum documented in a previous study. In accordance with the differential equilibrium model for the evolution of SSD, the intensity of sexual selection on male size varied between continents (weaker in Europe), whereas fecundity selection on female body size did not. Subsequent comparative analyses of 49 taxa documented at least six independent origins of male-biased SSD in Sepsidae, which is likely caused by sexual selection on male size and mediated by bimaturism. Therefore, reversals in SSD and the associated changes in larval development might be much more common and rapid and less constrained than currently assumed. PMID:27168489

  11. Androgenic induction of brain sexual dimorphism depends on photoperiod in meadow voles.

    PubMed

    Kelly, K K

    1993-02-01

    Male meadow voles maintained in a long photoperiod (LP) from birth have heavier brains than do females, but in short photoperiods (SP) this sex dimorphism is absent. Testosterone propionate (TP) administration on the second day of postnatal life produced significant increases in brain weight of LP but not SP females at 35 days of age. Short daylengths reduce the responsiveness of the meadow vole nervous system to the masculinizing effects of perinatal testosterone and may, in part, mediate the seasonally reduced sex difference in brain weight. PMID:8446686

  12. Transcriptome characterization and gene expression analysis related to sexual dimorphism in the ghost moth, Thitarodes pui, a host of Ophiocordyceps sinensis.

    PubMed

    Guo, Jixing; Jiang, Fengze; Yi, Jiequn; Liu, Xin; Zhang, Guren

    2016-08-22

    Thitarodes pui is one of the host species of the Chinese caterpillar fungus Ophiocordyceps sinensis as a traditional Chinese medicine with economic and medical importance. The pupal and adult stages of T. pui are sexually dimorphic. In order to elucidate the molecular mechanisms involved in the sexually dimorphic development of T. pui, we compared the transcriptomes of female and male pupae and adults. We obtained 15,881,734, 16,962,086, 17,514,743, and 17,770,904 clean reads from female pupae, male pupae, female adults, and male adults, respectively. The reads obtained from the four samples were pooled and assembled into 65,165 unigenes, 23,597 of which were annotated. Candidate genes involved in sexual development were identified and analysed. Gene expression analysis revealed that 1406 genes were differentially expressed in male and female pupae, 448 of which were up-regulated in males and 958 were up-regulated in females. A total of 2025 genes were differentially expressed in male and females adults, 1304 of which were up-regulated in males and 721 were up-regulated in females. The functional enrichment of the differentially expressed genes indicated that reproduction and cuticle synthesis were regulated differently between the sexes. The transcriptome data obtained provide significant information regarding the genes involved in sexually dimorphic development, which will improve our understanding of the molecular mechanisms related to sexual dimorphism and helpful for the moth mass rearing which would provide enough host insects for the sustainable utilization of O. sinensis. PMID:27182053

  13. Sexual dimorphism in gender plasticity and its consequences for breeding system evolution.

    PubMed

    Delph, Lynda F

    2003-01-01

    Flowering plants are able to develop gametes throughout their lives. As a consequence, environmental conditions can impact this development and alter a plant's functional gender or the degree to which it achieves fitness through male or female function. Two dimorphic breeding systems are widespread among angiosperm families: gynodioecy (hermaphrodites and females) and dioecy (males and females). Gynodioecy can evolve into dioecy, via loss of female function on the hermaphrodites, or it can remain stable. Here I discuss how developmental plasticity of gender can impact the sex ratio of populations and thereby influence the transition of one breeding system into another. I review studies showing that greater plasticity of fruit production by hermaphrodites as compared with females causes sex ratios among populations to vary in response to environmental conditions, with higher female frequency expected in harsh or low-quality sites. I also review how dioecy may evolve in dry sites to avoid inbreeding and any consequent inbreeding depression. Taken together, these studies show the importance of understanding how ecological development affects functional gender and consequently the evolutionary stability or malleability of dimorphic breeding systems. PMID:12492407

  14. Electroencephalographic signals synchronize with behaviors and are sexually dimorphic during the light-dark cycle in reproductive frogs.

    PubMed

    Yang, Ping; Fang, Guangzhan; Xue, Fei; Cui, Jianguo; Brauth, Steven E; Tang, Yezhong

    2014-02-01

    Male frogs behave differently from females during the breeding season, particularly with respect to courtship displays and in response to mating signals. In search of physiological correlates of these differences, the present study measured changes in baseline electroencephalogram (EEG) power output within four frequency bands in the telencephalon and mesencephalon, together with changes in locomotor activity as a function of the light-dark cycle in male and female Emei music frogs (Babina daunchina) at the reproductive stage. Previous studies have shown that male vocal activity varies both seasonally and daily in this species and that females use male advertisement calls to locate and select mates. The present results show that both EEG and locomotor activity exhibit highly correlated circadian patterns with peaks around light onset and offset. Importantly, during the reproductive stage, statistically significant sex differences in EEG output across brain regions during the light and dark phases were found indicating that sexual dimorphism exists for EEG activity which may underlie sexually specific information processing and behavioral activities. PMID:24337372

  15. The Relationship between the Second-to-Fourth Digit Ratio and Behavioral Sexual Dimorphism in School-Aged Children.

    PubMed

    Mitsui, Takahiko; Araki, Atsuko; Miyashita, Chihiro; Ito, Sachiko; Ikeno, Tamiko; Sasaki, Seiko; Kitta, Takeya; Moriya, Kimihiko; Cho, Kazutoshi; Morioka, Keita; Kishi, Reiko; Shinohara, Nobuo; Takeda, Masayuki; Nonomura, Katsuya

    2016-01-01

    Sexually dimorphic brain development and behavior are known to be influenced by sex hormones exposure in prenatal periods. On the other hand, second-to forth digit ratio (2D/4D) has been used as an indirect method to investigate the putative effects of prenatal exposure to androgen. In the present study, we herein investigated the relationship between gender-role play behavior and the second-to-fourth digit ratio (2D/4D), which has been used as an indirect method to investigate the putative effects of prenatal exposure to androgens, in school-aged children. Among 4981 children who became 8 years old by November 2014 and were contactable for this survey by The Hokkaido Study of Environment and Children's Health, 1631 (32.7%), who had data for 2D/4D and Pre-school Activities Inventory (PSAI) as well as data for the survey at baseline, were available for analysis. Parents sent reports of PSAI on the sex-typical characteristics, preferred toys, and play activities of children, and black and white photocopies of the left and right hand palms via mail. PSAI consisted of 12 masculine items and 12 feminine items, and a composite score was created by subtracting the feminine score from the masculine score, with higher scores representing masculine-typical behavior. While composite scores in PSAI were significantly higher in boys than in girls, 2D/4D was significantly lower in boys than in girls. Although the presence or absence of brothers or sisters affected the composite, masculine, and feminine scored of PSAI, a multivariate regression model revealed that 2D/4D negatively correlated with the composite scores of PSAI in boys, whereas no correlation was found in girls. Although 2D/4D negatively correlated with the masculine score in boys and girls, no correlation was observed between 2D/4D and the feminine score. In conclusion, although social factors, such as the existence of brother or sisters, affect dimorphic brain development and behavior in childhood, the present

  16. The Relationship between the Second-to-Fourth Digit Ratio and Behavioral Sexual Dimorphism in School-Aged Children

    PubMed Central

    Mitsui, Takahiko; Araki, Atsuko; Miyashita, Chihiro; Ito, Sachiko; Ikeno, Tamiko; Sasaki, Seiko; Kitta, Takeya; Moriya, Kimihiko; Cho, Kazutoshi; Morioka, Keita; Kishi, Reiko; Shinohara, Nobuo; Takeda, Masayuki; Nonomura, Katsuya

    2016-01-01

    Sexually dimorphic brain development and behavior are known to be influenced by sex hormones exposure in prenatal periods. On the other hand, second-to forth digit ratio (2D/4D) has been used as an indirect method to investigate the putative effects of prenatal exposure to androgen. In the present study, we herein investigated the relationship between gender-role play behavior and the second-to-fourth digit ratio (2D/4D), which has been used as an indirect method to investigate the putative effects of prenatal exposure to androgens, in school-aged children. Among 4981 children who became 8 years old by November 2014 and were contactable for this survey by The Hokkaido Study of Environment and Children's Health, 1631 (32.7%), who had data for 2D/4D and Pre-school Activities Inventory (PSAI) as well as data for the survey at baseline, were available for analysis. Parents sent reports of PSAI on the sex-typical characteristics, preferred toys, and play activities of children, and black and white photocopies of the left and right hand palms via mail. PSAI consisted of 12 masculine items and 12 feminine items, and a composite score was created by subtracting the feminine score from the masculine score, with higher scores representing masculine-typical behavior. While composite scores in PSAI were significantly higher in boys than in girls, 2D/4D was significantly lower in boys than in girls. Although the presence or absence of brothers or sisters affected the composite, masculine, and feminine scored of PSAI, a multivariate regression model revealed that 2D/4D negatively correlated with the composite scores of PSAI in boys, whereas no correlation was found in girls. Although 2D/4D negatively correlated with the masculine score in boys and girls, no correlation was observed between 2D/4D and the feminine score. In conclusion, although social factors, such as the existence of brother or sisters, affect dimorphic brain development and behavior in childhood, the present

  17. The Influence of Life History and Sexual Dimorphism on Entheseal Changes in Modern Humans and African Great Apes

    PubMed Central

    Milella, Marco

    2014-01-01

    Entheseal changes have been widely studied with regard to their correlation to biomechanical stress and their usefulness for biocultural reconstructions. However, anthropological and medical studies have demonstrated the marked influence of both age and sex on the development of these features. Studies of entheseal changes are mostly aimed in testing functional hypotheses and are mostly focused on modern humans, with few data available for non-human primates. The lack of comparative studies on the effect of age and sex on entheseal changes represent a gap in our understanding of the evolutionary basis of both development and degeneration of the human musculoskeletal system. The aim of the present work is to compare age trajectories and patterns of sexual dimorphism in entheseal changes between modern humans and African great apes. To this end we analyzed 23 postcranial entheses in a human contemporary identified skeletal collection (N = 484) and compared the results with those obtained from the analysis of Pan (N = 50) and Gorilla (N = 47) skeletal specimens. Results highlight taxon-specific age trajectories possibly linked to differences in life history schedules and phyletic relationships. Robusticity trajectories separate Pan and modern humans from Gorilla, whereas enthesopathic patterns are unique in modern humans and possibly linked to their extended potential lifespan. Comparisons between sexes evidence a decreasing dimorphism in robusticity from Gorilla, to modern humans to Pan, which is likely linked to the role played by size, lifespan and physical activity on robusticity development. The present study confirms previous hypotheses on the possible relevance of EC in the study of life history, pointing moreover to their usefulness in evolutionary studies. PMID:25251439

  18. A Test of Rensch’s Rule in Greater Horseshoe Bat (Rhinolophus ferrumequinum) with Female-Biased Sexual Size Dimorphism

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Hui; Jiang, Tinglei; Huang, Xiaobin; Lin, Hongjun; Wang, Hongwei; Wang, Lei; Niu, Hongxing; Feng, Jiang

    2014-01-01

    Sexual size dimorphism (SSD) is widespread within the animal kingdom. Rensch’s rule describes a relationship between SSD and body size: SSD increases with body size when males are the larger sex, and decreases with body size when females are the larger sex. Rensch’s rule is well supported for taxa that exhibit male-biased SSD but patterns of allometry among taxa with female-biased size dimorphism are mixed, there is evidence both for and against the rule. Furthermore, most studies have investigated Rensch’s rule across a variety of taxa; but among-population studies supporting Rensch’s rule are lacking, especially in taxa that display only slight SSD. Here, we tested whether patterns of intraspecific variation in SSD in greater horseshoe bats conform to Rensch’s rule, and evaluated the contribution of latitude to Rensch’s rule. Our results showed SSD was consistently female-biased in greater horseshoe bats, although female body size was only slightly larger than male body size. The slope of major axis regression of log10 (male) on log10 (female) was significantly different from 1. Forearm length for both sexes of greater horseshoe bats was significantly negatively correlated with latitude, and males displayed a slightly but nonsignificant steeper latitudinal cline in body size than females. We suggest that variation in patterns of SSD among greater horseshoe bat populations is consistent with Rensch’s rule indicating that males were the more variable sex. Males did not have a steeper body size–latitude relationship than females suggesting that sex-specific latitudinal variation in body size may not be an important contributing factor to Rensch’s rule. Future research on greater horseshoe bats might best focus on more comprehensive mechanisms driving the pattern of female-biased SSD variation. PMID:24465886

  19. Rediscovery of Eremobittacus spinulatus Byers (Mecoptera, Bittacidae) in Mexico, with description of the female and comments on sexual dimorphism and potential mimicry.

    PubMed

    Villagomez, Fernando; Contreras-Ramos, Atilano; Marquez-López, Yesenia

    2015-01-01

    The female of Eremobittacus spinulatus Byers, 1997 is described for the first time. A key to the two species known of this genus endemic to Mexico is provided, and species distribution is illustrated. A case is made for adults of Eremobittacus to be sexually dimorphic, which appears to be an exceptional occurrence in Bittacidae. It is claimed that Eremobittacus spinulatus habitus has a wasp-like appearance, which may potentially depict a case of mimicry. PMID:26798248

  20. Rediscovery of Eremobittacus spinulatus Byers (Mecoptera, Bittacidae) in Mexico, with description of the female and comments on sexual dimorphism and potential mimicry

    PubMed Central

    Villagomez, Fernando; Contreras-Ramos, Atilano; Marquez-López, Yesenia

    2015-01-01

    Abstract The female of Eremobittacus spinulatus Byers, 1997 is described for the first time. A key to the two species known of this genus endemic to Mexico is provided, and species distribution is illustrated. A case is made for adults of Eremobittacus to be sexually dimorphic, which appears to be an exceptional occurrence in Bittacidae. It is claimed that Eremobittacus spinulatus habitus has a wasp-like appearance, which may potentially depict a case of mimicry. PMID:26798248

  1. Interpopulation Comparison of Sex-Biased Mortality and Sexual Size Dimorphism in Sea-Run Masu Salmon, Oncorhynchus masou.

    PubMed

    Tamate, Tsuyoshi

    2015-08-01

    Evolutionary ecologists often expect that natural and sexual selection result in systematic co-occurrence patterns of sex-biased mortality and sexual size dimorphism (SSD) within animal species. However, whether such patterns actually occur in wild animals is poorly examined. The following expectation, the larger sex suffers higher mortality, was primarily tested here for apparently native sea-run masu salmon (Oncorhynchus masou) in three populations in Hokkaido, Japan. Field surveys on sex ratios, body sizes, and ages of smolts and returning adults revealed that two of the three populations exhibited an expected pattern, a female-biased marine mortality and SSD, but one population demonstrated an unexpected co-occurrence of male-biased marine mortality and female-biased SSD. These female-biased SSDs were attributed to faster marine growth of females because of no sex difference in smolt body size. It has been previously suggested that breeding selection favoring large size generally act more strongly in females than in males in Japanese anadromous masu, as there is a weak sexual selection on adult males but universally intensive natural selection on adult females. Thus, this hypothesis explains female-biased SSDs well in all study populations. Interpopulation variation in sex-biased mortality found here might result from differences in marine predation and/or fishing pressures, given that selection driving female-biased SSD makes females forage more aggressively than males during the marine phase. Taken together, these results raise the possibility that evolutionary forces have shaped adaptive sex-specific foraging strategies under relationships between growth and mortality, resulting in co-occurrence patterns of sex-biased mortality and SSD within animal species. PMID:26245223

  2. The sex-limited effects of mutations in the EGFR and TGF-β signaling pathways on shape and size sexual dimorphism and allometry in the Drosophila wing.

    PubMed

    Testa, Nicholas D; Dworkin, Ian

    2016-06-01

    Much of the morphological diversity in nature-including among sexes within a species-is a direct consequence of variation in size and shape. However, disentangling variation in sexual dimorphism for both shape (SShD), size (SSD), and their relationship with one another remains complex. Understanding how genetic variation influences both size and shape together, and how this in turn influences SSD and SShD, is challenging. In this study, we utilize Drosophila wing size and shape as a model system to investigate how mutations influence size and shape as modulated by sex. Previous work has demonstrated that mutations in epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) signaling components can influence both wing size and shape. In this study, we re-analyze this data to specifically address how they impact the relationship between size and shape in a sex-specific manner, in turn altering the pattern of sexual dimorphism. While most mutations influence shape overall, only a subset have a genotypic specific effect that influences SShD. Furthermore, while we observe sex-specific patterns of allometric shape variation, the effects of most mutations on allometry tend to be small. We discuss this within the context of using mutational analysis to understand sexual size and shape dimorphism. PMID:27038022

  3. A Genome-Wide Survey of Sexually Dimorphic Expression of Drosophila miRNAs Identifies the Steroid Hormone-Induced miRNA let-7 as a Regulator of Sexual Identity

    PubMed Central

    Fagegaltier, Delphine; König, Annekatrin; Gordon, Assaf; Lai, Eric C.; Gingeras, Thomas R.; Hannon, Gregory J.; Shcherbata, Halyna R.

    2014-01-01

    MiRNAs bear an increasing number of functions throughout development and in the aging adult. Here we address their role in establishing sexually dimorphic traits and sexual identity in male and female Drosophila. Our survey of miRNA populations in each sex identifies sets of miRNAs differentially expressed in male and female tissues across various stages of development. The pervasive sex-biased expression of miRNAs generally increases with the complexity and sexual dimorphism of tissues, gonads revealing the most striking biases. We find that the male-specific regulation of the X chromosome is relevant to miRNA expression on two levels. First, in the male gonad, testis-biased miRNAs tend to reside on the X chromosome. Second, in the soma, X-linked miRNAs do not systematically rely on dosage compensation. We set out to address the importance of a sex-biased expression of miRNAs in establishing sexually dimorphic traits. Our study of the conserved let-7-C miRNA cluster controlled by the sex-biased hormone ecdysone places let-7 as a primary modulator of the sex-determination hierarchy. Flies with modified let-7 levels present doublesex-related phenotypes and express sex-determination genes normally restricted to the opposite sex. In testes and ovaries, alterations of the ecdysone-induced let-7 result in aberrant gonadal somatic cell behavior and non-cell-autonomous defects in early germline differentiation. Gonadal defects as well as aberrant expression of sex-determination genes persist in aging adults under hormonal control. Together, our findings place ecdysone and let-7 as modulators of a somatic systemic signal that helps establish and sustain sexual identity in males and females and differentiation in gonads. This work establishes the foundation for a role of miRNAs in sexual dimorphism and demonstrates that similar to vertebrate hormonal control of cellular sexual identity exists in Drosophila. PMID:25081570

  4. A genome-wide survey of sexually dimorphic expression of Drosophila miRNAs identifies the steroid hormone-induced miRNA let-7 as a regulator of sexual identity.

    PubMed

    Fagegaltier, Delphine; König, Annekatrin; Gordon, Assaf; Lai, Eric C; Gingeras, Thomas R; Hannon, Gregory J; Shcherbata, Halyna R

    2014-10-01

    MiRNAs bear an increasing number of functions throughout development and in the aging adult. Here we address their role in establishing sexually dimorphic traits and sexual identity in male and female Drosophila. Our survey of miRNA populations in each sex identifies sets of miRNAs differentially expressed in male and female tissues across various stages of development. The pervasive sex-biased expression of miRNAs generally increases with the complexity and sexual dimorphism of tissues, gonads revealing the most striking biases. We find that the male-specific regulation of the X chromosome is relevant to miRNA expression on two levels. First, in the male gonad, testis-biased miRNAs tend to reside on the X chromosome. Second, in the soma, X-linked miRNAs do not systematically rely on dosage compensation. We set out to address the importance of a sex-biased expression of miRNAs in establishing sexually dimorphic traits. Our study of the conserved let-7-C miRNA cluster controlled by the sex-biased hormone ecdysone places let-7 as a primary modulator of the sex-determination hierarchy. Flies with modified let-7 levels present doublesex-related phenotypes and express sex-determination genes normally restricted to the opposite sex. In testes and ovaries, alterations of the ecdysone-induced let-7 result in aberrant gonadal somatic cell behavior and non-cell-autonomous defects in early germline differentiation. Gonadal defects as well as aberrant expression of sex-determination genes persist in aging adults under hormonal control. Together, our findings place ecdysone and let-7 as modulators of a somatic systemic signal that helps establish and sustain sexual identity in males and females and differentiation in gonads. This work establishes the foundation for a role of miRNAs in sexual dimorphism and demonstrates that similar to vertebrate hormonal control of cellular sexual identity exists in Drosophila. PMID:25081570

  5. Functional analysis of B and C class floral organ genes in spinach demonstrates their role in sexual dimorphism

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Evolution of unisexual flowers entails one of the most extreme changes in plant development. Cultivated spinach, Spinacia oleracea L., is uniquely suited for the study of unisexual flower development as it is dioecious and it achieves unisexually by the absence of organ development, rather than by organ abortion or suppression. Male staminate flowers lack fourth whorl primordia and female pistillate flowers lack third whorl primordia. Based on theoretical considerations, early inflorescence or floral organ identity genes would likely be directly involved in sex-determination in those species in which organ initiation rather than organ maturation is regulated. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that sexual dimorphism occurs through the regulation of B class floral organ gene expression by experimentally knocking down gene expression by viral induced gene silencing. Results Suppression of B class genes in spinach resulted in the expected homeotic transformation of stamens into carpels but also affected the number of perianth parts and the presence of fourth whorl. Phenotypically normal female flowers developed on SpPI-silenced male plants. Suppression of the spinach C class floral organ identity gene, SpAG, resulted in loss of reproductive organ identity, and indeterminate flowers, but did not result in additional sex-specific characteristics or structures. Analysis of the genomic sequences of both SpAP3 and SpPI did not reveal any allelic differences between males and females. Conclusion Sexual dimorphism in spinach is not the result of homeotic transformation of established organs, but rather is the result of differential initiation and development of the third and fourth whorl primordia. SpAG is inferred to have organ identity and meristem termination functions similar to other angiosperm C class genes. In contrast, while SpPI and SpAP3 resemble other angiosperms in their essential functions in establishing stamen identity, they also appear to have

  6. Sexual Dimorphism in the Alterations of Cardiac Muscle Mitochondrial Bioenergetics Associated to the Ageing Process.

    PubMed

    Colom, Bartomeu; Oliver, Jordi; Garcia-Palmer, Francisco J

    2015-11-01

    The incidence of cardiac disease is age and sex dependent, but the mechanisms governing these associations remain poorly understood. Mitochondria are the organelles in charge of producing energy for the cells, and their malfunction has been linked to cardiovascular disease and heart failure. Interestingly, heart mitochondrial content and functionality are also age and sex dependent. Here we investigated the combinatory effects of age and sex in mitochondrial bioenergetics that could help to understand their role on cardiac disease. Cardiac mitochondria from 6- and 24-month-old male and female Wistar rats were isolated, and the enzymatic activities of the oxidative-phosphorylative complexes I, III, and IV and ATPase, as well as the protein levels of complex IV, β-ATPase, and mitochondrial transcription factor A (TFAM), were measured. Furthermore, heart DNA content, citrate synthase activity, mitochondrial protein content, oxygen consumption, and H2O2 generation were also determined. Results showed a reduction in heart mitochondrial mass and functionality with age that correlated with increased H2O2 generation. Moreover, sex-dependent differences were found in several of these parameters. In particular, old females exhibited a significant loss of mitochondrial function and increased relative H2O2 production compared with their male counterparts. The results demonstrate a sex dimorphism in the age-associated defects on cardiac mitochondrial function. PMID:24682352

  7. Quantitative digital and palmar dermatoglyphics: sexual dimorphism in the Chuvashian population of Russia.

    PubMed

    Karmakar, B; Yakovenko, K; Kobyliansky, E

    2008-01-01

    With the aim of determining sex dimorphism among the Chuvashian population of Russia, digital and palmar dermatoglyphics of 547 individuals (293 males, 254 females) were analyzed. The sex differences for PII, TRC, and AFRC are similar to Indian and Jewish populations. Correlation coefficients between individual finger ridge counts are a little lower than in Jews but are almost equal to Indian populations. The Mantel test of matrix correlation between sexes for 22 traits shows a very good similarity. However, sex differences of palmar traits display different levels when compared with other human populations. In light of this, our evidence indicates the possible role of environmental (prenatal) factors in the realization of dermatoglyphic sex differences. The development of palmar dermatoglyphics has had a relatively longer growth period compared with fingers [Cummins, H., 1929. The topographic history of the volar pads (walking pads, tast ballen) in the human embryo. Embryol. 20, 103-126]. The palmar dermatoglyphic pattern of affinities therefore corresponds better than fingers to the ethno historical background of the populations, ascertained by numerous studies. PMID:18656864

  8. Sexual dimorphism in brain weight of meadow voles: role of gonadal hormones.

    PubMed

    Whaling, C S; Zucker, I; Wade, G N; Dark, J

    1990-05-01

    In most adult mammals, brain weights of males exceed those of females. The role of androgens in the genesis of this sex difference was assessed in meadow voles by acute neonatal or chronic postweaning manipulation of testosterone titers. Female voles given a single injection of testosterone propionate (TP) on the second day of postnatal life had brain weights in adulthood that were indistinguishable from those of male voles and significantly heavier than those of control females. Whole brain DNA content, a measure of cell number, was not increased by neonatal TP treatment. Females treated with TP from day 19 to 70 had lower brain weights than control females and males gonadectomized at 19 days of age had greater brain weights than did intact male voles at day 70. The sex dimorphism in brain weight reflects organizational effects of testosterone during perinatal development. Beginning at weaning, and continuing through postpubertal development, testosterone decreases brain weight in both sexes. We suggest that testosterone affects brain weight by altering cell size or non-cellular components rather than cell number. PMID:2192820

  9. Reacquisition of the lower temporal bar in sexually dimorphic fossil lizards provides a rare case of convergent evolution.

    PubMed

    Simões, Tiago R; Funston, Gregory F; Vafaeian, Behzad; Nydam, Randall L; Doschak, Michael R; Caldwell, Michael W

    2016-01-01

    Temporal fenestration has long been considered a key character to understand relationships amongst reptiles. In particular, the absence of the lower temporal bar (LTB) is considered one of the defining features of squamates (lizards and snakes). In a re-assessment of the borioteiioid lizard Polyglyphanodon sternbergi (Cretaceous, North America), we detected a heretofore unrecognized ontogenetic series, sexual dimorphism (a rare instance for Mesozoic reptiles), and a complete LTB, a feature only recently recognized for another borioteiioid, Tianyusaurus zhengi (Cretaceous, China). A new phylogenetic analysis (with updates on a quarter of the scorings for P. sternbergi) indicates not only that the LTB was reacquired in squamates, but it happened independently at least twice. An analysis of the functional significance of the LTB using proxies indicates that, unlike for T. zhengi, this structure had no apparent functional advantage in P. sternbergi, and it is better explained as the result of structural constraint release. The observed canalization against a LTB in squamates was broken at some point in the evolution of borioteiioids, whereas never re-occuring in other squamate lineages. This case of convergent evolution involves a mix of both adaptationist and structuralist causes, which is unusual for both living and extinct vertebrates. PMID:27071447

  10. Perinatal exposure to estradiol masculinizes aspects of sexually dimorphic behavior and morphology in gray short-tailed opossums (Monodelphis domestica).

    PubMed

    Fadem, B H

    2000-02-01

    The effects on adult sexually dimorphic behavior of perinatal exposure to estrogen were examined by treating male and female gray opossums with estradiol (EST), an estrogen receptor antagonist (tamoxifen:TX) or oil control (OIL) during the first week of life, a time period corresponding in this marsupial to late gestation in rodent species. Following gonadectomy and replacement therapy with testosterone in adulthood, males showed more scent-marking behavior than females and EST animals showed more scent marking than TX or OIL animals. Also, phalluses were longer and body weight was higher in males than in females and in EST-treated animals than in TX-treated animals; OIL animals were intermediate in these morphological measures. EST animals of both sexes showed less female-typical screeching threat behavior than OIL or TX animals. Because these hormone manipulations were conducted on the "fetus" directly in this marsupial (rather than via the maternal circulation as in previously studied eutherian species), these findings provide unique confirming evidence for masculinization of aspects of behavior and morphology by early exposure to estradiol in mammals. PMID:10712860

  11. Geographical variation in body size and sexual size dimorphism in an Australian lizard, Boulenger's Skink (Morethia boulengeri).

    PubMed

    Michael, Damian R; Banks, Sam C; Piggott, Maxine P; Cunningham, Ross B; Crane, Mason; MacGregor, Christopher; McBurney, Lachlan; Lindenmayer, David B

    2014-01-01

    Ecogeographical rules help explain spatial and temporal patterns in intraspecific body size. However, many of these rules, when applied to ectothermic organisms such as reptiles, are controversial and require further investigation. To explore factors that influence body size in reptiles, we performed a heuristic study to examine body size variation in an Australian lizard, Boulenger's Skink Morethia boulengeri from agricultural landscapes in southern New South Wales, south-eastern Australia. We collected tissue and morphological data on 337 adult lizards across a broad elevation and climate gradient. We used a model-selection procedure to determine if environmental or ecological variables best explained body size variation. We explored the relationship between morphology and phylogenetic structure before modeling candidate variables from four broad domains: (1) geography (latitude, longitude and elevation), (2) climate (temperature and rainfall), (3) habitat (vegetation type, number of logs and ground cover attributes), and (4) management (land use and grazing history). Broad phylogenetic structure was evident, but on a scale larger than our study area. Lizards were sexually dimorphic, whereby females had longer snout-vent length than males, providing support for the fecundity selection hypothesis. Body size variation in M. boulengeri was correlated with temperature and rainfall, a pattern consistent with larger individuals occupying cooler and more productive parts of the landscape. Climate change forecasts, which predict warmer temperature and increased aridity, may result in reduced lizard biomass and decoupling of trophic interactions with potential implications for community organization and ecosystem function. PMID:25337999

  12. Geographical Variation in Body Size and Sexual Size Dimorphism in an Australian Lizard, Boulenger's Skink (Morethia boulengeri)

    PubMed Central

    Michael, Damian R.; Banks, Sam C.; Piggott, Maxine P.; Cunningham, Ross B.; Crane, Mason; MacGregor, Christopher; McBurney, Lachlan; Lindenmayer, David B.

    2014-01-01

    Ecogeographical rules help explain spatial and temporal patterns in intraspecific body size. However, many of these rules, when applied to ectothermic organisms such as reptiles, are controversial and require further investigation. To explore factors that influence body size in reptiles, we performed a heuristic study to examine body size variation in an Australian lizard, Boulenger's Skink Morethia boulengeri from agricultural landscapes in southern New South Wales, south-eastern Australia. We collected tissue and morphological data on 337 adult lizards across a broad elevation and climate gradient. We used a model-selection procedure to determine if environmental or ecological variables best explained body size variation. We explored the relationship between morphology and phylogenetic structure before modeling candidate variables from four broad domains: (1) geography (latitude, longitude and elevation), (2) climate (temperature and rainfall), (3) habitat (vegetation type, number of logs and ground cover attributes), and (4) management (land use and grazing history). Broad phylogenetic structure was evident, but on a scale larger than our study area. Lizards were sexually dimorphic, whereby females had longer snout-vent length than males, providing support for the fecundity selection hypothesis. Body size variation in M. boulengeri was correlated with temperature and rainfall, a pattern consistent with larger individuals occupying cooler and more productive parts of the landscape. Climate change forecasts, which predict warmer temperature and increased aridity, may result in reduced lizard biomass and decoupling of trophic interactions with potential implications for community organization and ecosystem function. PMID:25337999

  13. Maternal Care Effects on the Development of a Sexually Dimorphic Motor System: The Role of Spinal Oxytocin

    PubMed Central

    Lenz, Kathryn M.; Sengelaub, Dale R.

    2010-01-01

    Maternal licking in rats affects the development of the spinal nucleus of the bulbocavernosus (SNB), a sexually dimorphic motor nucleus that controls penile reflexes involved with copulation. Reduced maternal licking results in decreased motoneuron number, size, and dendritic length in the adult SNB, as well as deficits in adult male copulatory behavior. Our previous findings that licking-like tactile stimulation influences SNB dendritic development and upregulates Fos expression in the lumbosacral spinal cord suggest that afferent signaling is changed by differences in maternal stimulation. Oxytocin afferents from the hypothalamus are a possible candidate, given previous research that has shown oxytocin is released following sensory stimulation, oxytocin modulates excitability in the spinal cord, and is a pro-erectile modulator of male sex behavior. In this experiment, we used immunofluorescence and immediate early gene analysis to assess whether licking-like tactile stimulation of the perineum activated parvocellular oxytocinergic neurons in the hypothalamus in neonates. We also used enzyme immunoassay to determine whether this same stroking stimulation produced an increase in spinal oxytocin levels. We found that stroking increased Fos immunolabeling in small oxytocin-positive cells in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus, in comparison to unstroked or handled control pups. In addition, sixty seconds of licking-like perineal stimulation produced a transient 89% increase in oxytocin levels in the lumbosacral spinal cord. Together, these results suggest that oxytocin afferent activity may contribute to the effects of early maternal care on the masculinization of the SNB and resultant male copulatory behavior. PMID:20688065

  14. Burrowing in the freshwater mussel Elliptio complanata is sexually dimorphic and feminized by low levels of atrazine

    PubMed Central

    Wedin, Maria Belopolsky; Bonventre, Josephine A.; Dillon-White, Marsha; Hines, Jessica; Weeks, Benjamin S.; André, Chantale; Schreibman, Martin P.; Gagné, Francois

    2015-01-01

    The widely used herbicide atrazine (ATR) may have endocrine-associated adverse effects, including on behavior. In this study, 120 adult freshwater mussels, Elliptio complanata, were exposed to ATR at the environmentally-relevant concentrations of 1.5, 15, or 150 μg/L. Burrowing depth was evaluated hourly for 6 hr and at sacrifice animals were sexed by gonad smear. Female controls burrowed overall approximately 30% less than males, the first report of sexual dimorphism in this behavior. Atrazine at 15 μg/L feminized burrowing in both sexes in that exposed animals burrowed 20% less than their same sex controls. Males treated with 1.5 μg /L ATR displayed approximately 20-fold higher vitellogenin (VTG) levels than same sex controls. Higher concentrations of ATR were not associated with increasing effects. A scatterplot showed a weak binomial curve associating low burrowing with high VTG levels. Taken together, these data suggest a non-linear dose-response in behavioral and physiological feminization produced by ATR and support the need to reconsider the widespread use of this compound. PMID:24279817

  15. Reacquisition of the lower temporal bar in sexually dimorphic fossil lizards provides a rare case of convergent evolution

    PubMed Central

    Simões, Tiago R.; Funston, Gregory F.; Vafaeian, Behzad; Nydam, Randall L.; Doschak, Michael R.; Caldwell, Michael W.

    2016-01-01

    Temporal fenestration has long been considered a key character to understand relationships amongst reptiles. In particular, the absence of the lower temporal bar (LTB) is considered one of the defining features of squamates (lizards and snakes). In a re-assessment of the borioteiioid lizard Polyglyphanodon sternbergi (Cretaceous, North America), we detected a heretofore unrecognized ontogenetic series, sexual dimorphism (a rare instance for Mesozoic reptiles), and a complete LTB, a feature only recently recognized for another borioteiioid, Tianyusaurus zhengi (Cretaceous, China). A new phylogenetic analysis (with updates on a quarter of the scorings for P. sternbergi) indicates not only that the LTB was reacquired in squamates, but it happened independently at least twice. An analysis of the functional significance of the LTB using proxies indicates that, unlike for T. zhengi, this structure had no apparent functional advantage in P. sternbergi, and it is better explained as the result of structural constraint release. The observed canalization against a LTB in squamates was broken at some point in the evolution of borioteiioids, whereas never re-occuring in other squamate lineages. This case of convergent evolution involves a mix of both adaptationist and structuralist causes, which is unusual for both living and extinct vertebrates. PMID:27071447

  16. Morphometrics of the Anterior Belly and Intermediate Tendon of the Digastric Muscle: Sexual Dimorphism and Implications for Surgery.

    PubMed

    Zdilla, Matthew J; Pancake, Alex R; Lambert, H Wayne

    2016-07-01

    The anterior belly of the digastric muscle (ABDM) is important in a variety of surgeries including submental lipectomy, rhytidectomy, alteration of the cervicomental angle via muscle resection, the "digastric corset" procedure for submental rejuvenation, the submental artery flap, and reanimation of the mouth after facial nerve palsy. Despite its clinical significance, little information exists regarding the morphometrics of the ABDM or its associated intermediate tendon. This study analyzed a total of 35 intact ABDMs and 43 intact intermediate tendons from 23 cadavers. Measurements were taken of the following parameters: muscle belly area, muscle belly length, intermediate tendon length, and intermediate tendon width at mid-tendon. Normative descriptive statistics are included within the report. Males were found to have significantly longer left-sided muscle bellies than right-sided bellies from males (U = 23.0; P = 0.044), left-sided bellies from females (U = 19.0; P = 0.020), and right-sided bellies from females (U = 12.0; P = 0.035). The morphometry, including sexual dimorphism, presented in this report can aid in the surgical planning and execution of numerous operations performed in head and neck, especially digastric muscle transfer surgery. PMID:27258716

  17. Functional Morphology and Sexual Dimorphism of Mouthparts of the Short-Faced Scorpionfly Panorpodes kuandianensis (Mecoptera: Panorpodidae)

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Na; Huang, Jing; Hua, Baozhen

    2013-01-01

    Mouthparts are closely associated with the feeding behavior and feeding habits of insects. The features of mouthparts frequently provide important traits for evolutionary biologists and systematists. The short-faced scorpionflies (Panorpodidae) are distinctly different from other families of Mecoptera by their extremely short rostrum. However, their feeding habits are largely unknown so far. In this study, the mouthpart morphology of Panorpodes kuandianensis Zhong et al., 2011 was investigated using scanning electron microscopy and histological techniques. The mandibulate mouthparts are situated at the tip of the short rostrum. The clypeus and labrum are short and lack distinct demarcation between them. The epipharynx is furnished with sublateral and median sensilla patches. The blade-shaped mandibles are sclerotized and symmetrical, bearing apical teeth and serrate inner margins. The maxilla and labium retain the structures of the typical pattern of biting insects. The hirsute galea, triangular pyramid-shaped lacinia, and labial palps are described in detail at ultrastructural level for the first time. Abundant sensilla are distributed on the surface of maxillary and labial palps. The sexual dimorphism of mouthparts is found in Panorpodes for the first time, mainly exhibiting on the emargination of the labrum and apical teeth of mandibles. Based on the features of mouthparts, the potential feeding strategy and feeding mechanism are briefly discussed in Panorpodes. PMID:23533677

  18. Sexually Dimorphic Patterns of Episomal rAAV Genome Persistence in the Adult Mouse Liver and Correlation With Hepatocellular Proliferation

    PubMed Central

    Dane, Allison P; Cunningham, Sharon C; Graf, Nicole S; Alexander, Ian E

    2009-01-01

    Recombinant adeno-associated virus vectors (rAAVs) show exceptional promise for liver-targeted gene therapy, with phenotype correction in small and large animal disease models being reported with increasing frequency. Success in humans, however, remains a considerable challenge that demands greater understanding of host–vector interactions, notably those governing the efficiency of initial gene transfer and subsequent long-term persistence of gene expression. In this study, we examined long-term enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP) expression and vector genome persistence in the mouse liver after rAAV2/8-mediated gene transfer in early adulthood. Two intriguing findings emerged of considerable scientific and clinical interest. First, adult female and male mice showed distinctly different patterns of persistence of eGFP expression across the hepatic lobule after exhibiting similar patterns initially. Female mice retained a predominantly perivenous pattern of expression, whereas male mice underwent inversion of this pattern with preferential loss of perivenous expression and relative retention of periportal expression. Second, these changing patterns of expression correlated with sexually dimorphic patterns of genome persistence that appear linked both spatially and temporally to underlying hepatocellular proliferation. Observation of the equivalent phenomenon in man could have significant implications for the long-term therapeutic efficacy of rAAV-mediated gene transfer, particularly in the context of correction of liver functions showing metabolic zonation. PMID:19568224

  19. Size-dependent selective mechanisms on males and females and the evolution of sexual size dimorphism in frogs.

    PubMed

    Nali, Renato C; Zamudio, Kelly R; Haddad, Célio F B; Prado, Cynthia P A

    2014-12-01

    Sexual size dimorphism (SSD) varies in animals from male biased to female biased. The evolution of SSD is potentially influenced by a number of factors, such as territoriality, fecundity, and temporal breeding patterns (explosive vs. prolonged). In general, frogs show female-biased SSD with broad variance among species. Using comparative methods, we examine how different selective forces affect male and female sizes, and we test hypotheses about size-dependent mechanisms shaping SSD in frogs. Male size was weakly associated with SSD in all size classes, and we found no significant association among SSD, male size, temporal breeding pattern, and male territoriality. In contrast, female size best explained SSD variation across all size classes but especially for small-bodied species. We found a stronger evolutionary association between female body size and fecundity, and this fecundity advantage was highest in explosively breeding species. Our data indicate that the fecundity advantage associated with female body size may not be linear, such that intermediate and large females benefit less with body size increases. Therefore, size-dependent selection in females associated with fecundity and breeding patterns is an important mechanism driving SSD evolution in frogs. Our study underscores the fact that lineage-specific ecology and behavior should be incorporated in comparative analyses of animal SSD. PMID:25438173

  20. Male-Biased Sexual Size Dimorphism, Resource Defense Polygyny, and Multiple Paternity in the Emei Moustache Toad (Leptobrachium boringii)

    PubMed Central

    Hudson, Cameron M.; Fu, Jinzhong

    2013-01-01

    We tested the hypotheses that the Emei moustache toad (Leptobrachium boringii) exhibits resource defense polygyny and that combat led to the evolution of male-biased sexual size dimorphism. Between February and March of 2011 and 2012, 26 female and 55 male L. boringii from Mount Emei UNESCO World Heritage Site, Sichuan, China, were observed throughout the breeding season. Prior to the breeding season, males grow 10–16 keratinized maxillary nuptial spines, which fall off once the season has ended. Throughout this time, males construct and defend aquatic nests where they produce advertisement calls to attract females. In a natural setting, we documented 14 cases involving a total of 22 males where males used their moustaches for aggressive interaction, and nest takeover was observed on seven occasions. Males were also observed to possess injuries resulting from combat. Genetic analysis using microsatellite DNA markers revealed several cases of multiple paternity, both within nest and within clutch. This observation indicated that some alternative male reproductive strategy, such as satellite behaviour, is occurring, which may have led to the multiple paternity. Larger males were observed to mate more frequently, and in multiple nests, suggesting that females are selecting for larger males, or that larger males are more capable of defending high quality territories. PMID:23840725

  1. Language-related Cntnap2 gene is differentially expressed in sexually dimorphic song nuclei essential for vocal learning in songbirds

    PubMed Central

    Panaitof, S. Carmen; Abrahams, Brett S.; Dong, Hongmei; Geschwind, Daniel H.; White, Stephanie A.

    2010-01-01

    Multiple studies, involving distinct clinical populations, implicate contactin associated protein-like 2 (CNTNAP2) in aspects of language development and performance. While CNTNAP2 is broadly distributed in developing rodent brain, it shows a striking gradient of frontal cortical enrichment in developing human brain, consistent with a role in patterning circuits that subserve higher cognition and language. To test the hypothesis that CNTNAP2 may be important for learned vocal communication in additional species, we employed in situ hybridization to characterize transcript distribution in the zebra finch, an experimentally tractable songbird for which the neural substrate of this behavior is well-established. Consistent with an important role in learned vocalization, Cntnap2 was enriched or diminished in key song control nuclei relative to adjacent brain tissue. Importantly, this punctuated expression was observed in males, but not females, in accord with the sexual dimorphism of neural circuitry and vocal learning in this species. Ongoing functional work will provide important insights into the relationship between Cntnap2 and vocal communication in songbirds and thereby clarify mechanisms at play in disorders of human cognition and language. PMID:20394055

  2. The impact of neonatal bisphenol-A exposure on sexually dimorphic hypothalamic nuclei in the female rat

    PubMed Central

    Adewale, Heather B.; Todd, Karina L.; Mickens, Jillian A.; Patisaul, Heather B.

    2010-01-01

    Now under intense scrutiny, due to its endocrine disrupting properties, the potential threat the plastics component bisphenol-a (BPA) poses to human health remains unclear. Found in a multitude of polycarbonate plastics, food and beverage containers, and medical equipment, BPA is thought to bind to estrogen receptors (ERs), thereby interfering with estrogen-dependent processes. Our lab has previously shown that exposure to BPA (50mg/kg bw or 50μg/kg bw) during the neonatal critical period is associated with advancement of puberty, early reproductive senescence and ovarian malformations in female Long-Evans rats. Here, using neural tissue obtained from the same animals, we explored the impact of neonatal BPA exposure on the development of sexually dimorphic hypothalamic regions critical for female reproductive physiology and behavior. Endpoints included quantification of oxytocin-immunoreactive neurons (OT-ir) in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN), serotonin (5-HT-ir) fiber density in the ventrolateral subdivision of the ventromedial nucleus (VMNvl) as well as ERα-ir neuron number in the medial preoptic area (MPOA), the VMNvl, and the arcuate nucleus (ARC). Both doses of BPA increased the number of OT-ir neurons within the PVN, but no significant effects were seen on 5-HT-ir fiber density or ERα-ir neuron number in any of the areas analyzed. In addition to hypothalamic development, we also assessed female sex behavior and body weight. No effect of BPA on sexual receptivity or proceptive behavior in females was observed. Females treated with BPA, however, weighed significantly more than control females by postnatal day 99. This effect of BPA on weight is critical because alterations in metabolism, are frequently associated with reproductive dysfunction. Collectively, the results of this and our prior study indicate that the impact of neonatal BPA exposure within the female rat hypothalamus is region specific and support the hypothesis that developmental BPA

  3. Bacterial Exposure at the Larval Stage Induced Sexual Immune Dimorphism and Priming in Adult Aedes aegypti Mosquitoes

    PubMed Central

    Moreno-García, Miguel; Vargas, Valeria; Ramírez-Bello, Inci; Hernández-Martínez, Guadalupe; Lanz-Mendoza, Humberto

    2015-01-01

    Gender differences in the immune response of insects are driven by natural selection for females and sexual selection for males. These natural forces entail a multitude of extrinsic and intrinsic factors involved in a genotype-environment interaction that results in sex-biased expression of the genes shared by males and females. However, little is known about how an infection at a particular ontogenetic stage may influence later stages, or how it may impact sexual immune dimorphism. Using Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, the aim of the present study was to analyze the effect of a bacterial exposure at the larval stage on adult immunity in males and females. The parameters measured were phenoloxidase activity, nitric oxide production, antimicrobial activity, and the antimicrobial peptide transcript response. As a measure of the immune response success, the persistence of injected bacteria was also evaluated. The results show that males, as well as females, were able to enhance survival in the adult stage as a result of being exposed at the larval stage, which indicates a priming effect. Moreover, there was a differential gender immune response, evidenced by higher PO activity in males as well as higher NO production and greater antimicrobial activity in females. The greater bacterial persistence in females suggests a gender-specific strategy for protection after a previous experience with an elicitor. Hence, this study provides a primary characterization of the complex and gender-specific immune response of male and female adults against a bacterial challenge in mosquitoes primed at an early ontogenetic stage. PMID:26181517

  4. Species-specific loss of sexual dimorphism in vocal effectors accompanies vocal simplification in African clawed frogs (Xenopus)

    PubMed Central

    Leininger, Elizabeth C.; Kitayama, Ken; Kelley, Darcy B.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Phylogenetic studies can reveal patterns of evolutionary change, including the gain or loss of elaborate courtship traits in males. Male African clawed frogs generally produce complex and rapid courtship vocalizations, whereas female calls are simple and slow. In a few species, however, male vocalizations are also simple and slow, suggesting loss of male-typical traits. Here, we explore features of the male vocal organ that could contribute to loss in two species with simple, slow male calls. In Xenopus boumbaensis, laryngeal morphology is more robust in males than in females. Larynges are larger, have a more complex cartilaginous morphology and contain more muscle fibers. Laryngeal muscle fibers are exclusively fast-twitch in males but are both fast- and slow-twitch in females. The laryngeal electromyogram, a measure of neuromuscular synaptic strength, shows greater potentiation in males than in females. Male-specific physiological features are shared with X. laevis, as well as with a species of the sister clade, Silurana tropicalis, and thus are likely ancestral. In X. borealis, certain aspects of laryngeal morphology and physiology are sexually monomorphic rather than dimorphic. In both sexes, laryngeal muscle fibers are of mixed-twitch type, which limits the production of muscle contractions at rapid intervals. Muscle activity potentiation and discrete tension transients resemble female rather than male X. boumbaensis. The de-masculinization of these laryngeal features suggests an alteration in sensitivity to the gonadal hormones that are known to control the sexual differentiation of the larynx in other Xenopus and Silurana species. PMID:25788725

  5. Effects of maternal diet and exposure to bisphenol A on sexually dimorphic responses in conceptuses and offspring.

    PubMed

    Rosenfeld, C S

    2012-08-01

    Whereas sexual differentiation is considered as the onset of differentiation of the male or female gonads, mounting evidence indicates that sex differences in developmental programming are established as early as the zygotic stage. Genetic and epigenetic differences between the sexes might govern how each responds to shifts in their early environment, including in the uterus or culture dish, as in the case of in vitro cultured pre-implantational embryos. Even if no differences are evident between the sexes at birth, divergent conceptus responses to surrounding changes, such as maternal diet and exposure to endocrine disrupting compounds (EDC), such as bisphenol A (BPA), might predispose one sex over the other to later adult-onset diseases, otherwise termed developmental origin of health and disease (DOHaD). Overall, males subjected to less than optimal in utero conditions tend to be at greater risk for various diseases, including neurobehavioural disorders. As the placenta is the primary nutrient acquisition and communication organ between the dam and foetus, its ability to adapt rapidly to environmental shifts might buffer the conceptus against environmental insults. The placenta of one sex over the other might possess greater ability to respond to environmental fluctuations. In utero environmental changes, including maternal nutrient excess or reduction or exposure to the EDC, BPA, might govern sex-dependent behavioural alterations. In sum, this review examines the evidence to date that male and female zygotes and conceptuses diverge in their responses to shifting environmental conditions and whether these contrasting sexually dimorphic responses underpin later DOHaD outcomes, namely neurobehavioural changes. PMID:22827346

  6. Sexual dimorphism of lipid metabolism in very long-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficient (VLCAD-/-) mice in response to medium-chain triglycerides (MCT).

    PubMed

    Tucci, Sara; Flögel, Ulrich; Spiekerkoetter, Ute

    2015-07-01

    Medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) are widely applied in the treatment of long-chain fatty acid oxidation disorders. Previously it was shown that long-term MCT supplementation strongly affects lipid metabolism in mice. We here investigate sex-specific effects in mice with very-long-chain-acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (VLCAD) deficiency in response to a long-term MCT modified diet. We quantified blood lipids, acylcarnitines, glucose, insulin and free fatty acids, as well as tissue triglycerides in the liver and skeletal muscle under a control and an MCT diet over 1 year. In addition, visceral and hepatic fat content and muscular intramyocellular lipids (IMCL) were assessed by in vivo(1)H magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) techniques. The long-term application of an MCT diet induced a marked alteration of glucose homeostasis. However, only VLCAD-/- female mice developed a severe metabolic syndrome characterized by marked insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, severe hepatic and visceral steatosis, whereas VLCAD-/- males seemed to be protected and only presented with milder insulin resistance. Moreover, the highly saturated MCT diet is associated with a decreased hepatic stearoyl-CoA desaturase 1 (SCD1) activity in females aggravating the harmful effects of a saturated MCT diet. Long-term MCT supplementation deeply affects lipid metabolism in a sexual dimorphic manner resulting in a severe metabolic syndrome only in female mice. These findings are striking since the first signs of insulin resistance already occur in female VLCAD-/- mice during their reproductive period. How these metabolic adaptations are finally regulated needs to be determined. More important, the relevance of these findings for humans under these dietary modifications needs to be investigated. PMID:25887160

  7. An afferent explanation for sexual dimorphism in the aortic baroreflex of rat.

    PubMed

    Santa Cruz Chavez, Grace C; Li, Bai-Yan; Glazebrook, Patricia A; Kunze, Diana L; Schild, John H

    2014-09-15

    Sex differences in baroreflex (BRx) function are well documented. Hormones likely contribute to this dimorphism, but many functional aspects remain unresolved. Our lab has been investigating a subset of vagal sensory neurons that constitute nearly 50% of the total population of myelinated aortic baroreceptors (BR) in female rats but less than 2% in male rats. Termed "Ah," this unique phenotype has many of the nonoverlapping electrophysiological properties and chemical sensitivities of both myelinated A-type and unmyelinated C-type BR afferents. In this study, we utilize three distinct experimental protocols to determine if Ah-type barosensory afferents underlie, at least in part, the sex-related differences in BRx function. Electron microscopy of the aortic depressor nerve (ADN) revealed that female rats have less myelin (P < 0.03) and a smaller fiber cross-sectional area (P < 0.05) per BR fiber than male rats. Electrical stimulation of the ADN evoked compound action potentials and nerve conduction profiles that were markedly different (P < 0.01, n = 7 females and n = 9 males). Selective activation of ADN myelinated fibers evoked a BRx-mediated depressor response that was 3-7 times greater in female (n = 16) than in male (n = 17) rats. Interestingly, the most striking hemodynamic difference was functionally dependent upon the rate of myelinated barosensory fiber activation. Only 5-10 Hz of stimulation evoked a rapid, 20- to 30-mmHg reduction in arterial pressure of female rats, whereas rates of 50 Hz or higher were required to elicit a comparable depressor response from male rats. Collectively, our experimental results are suggestive of an alternative myelinated baroreceptor afferent pathway in females that may account for, at least in part, the noted sex-related differences in autonomic control of cardiovascular function. PMID:25038145

  8. Metabolic programming of puberty: sexually dimorphic responses to early nutritional challenges.

    PubMed

    Sánchez-Garrido, M A; Castellano, J M; Ruiz-Pino, F; Garcia-Galiano, D; Manfredi-Lozano, M; Leon, S; Romero-Ruiz, A; Diéguez, C; Pinilla, L; Tena-Sempere, M

    2013-09-01

    Body energy stores and metabolic cues influence the onset of puberty. However, the pubertal impact of early nutritional challenges has been only fragmentarily addressed. We evaluated here the consequences, in terms of pubertal timing and hormonal markers, of various nutritional manipulations during pre- or postnatal maturation in rats of both sexes. Males and females were submitted to gestational undernutrition (UNG) or peripubertal (SUB) subnutrition or were raised in large (LL; underfeeding) or small (SL; overfeeding) litters. In addition, groups of UNG, LL, and SL rats were fed on a high-fat diet (HFD) after weaning. Postnatal overfeeding resulted in higher body weights (BWs) during pubertal transition in both sexes, but only SL males displayed overtly advanced external signs of puberty. Postnatal underfeeding persistently decreased BW gain during puberty, yet the magnitude of pubertal delay was greater in LL males. In contrast, regardless of postnatal nutrition, HFD tended to advance the onset of puberty in females but did not alter pubertal timing in males. Likewise, SUB females displayed a marked delay in BW gain and puberty onset, whereas despite similar reduction in BW, SUB males showed normal timing of puberty. These sex divergences were also detected in various hormonal and metabolic indices so that postnatal overnutrition consistently increased LH, FSH, leptin, and insulin levels only in pubertal females, whereas HFD decreased gonadotropin levels in SL females but increased them in SL males. Notably, UNG rats did not show signs of delayed puberty but displayed a striking sex dimorphism in serum insulin/glucose levels, regardless of the diet, so that only UNG males had signs of presumable insulin resistance. Our data disclose important sex differences in the impact of various early nutritional challenges on the timing of puberty, which may help to explain the different trends of altered puberty and related comorbidities between sexes. PMID:23751873

  9. Conditioned same-sex partner preference in male rats is facilitated by oxytocin and dopamine: effect on sexually dimorphic brain nuclei.

    PubMed

    Triana-Del Rio, Rodrigo; Tecamachaltzi-Silvarán, Miriam B; Díaz-Estrada, Victor X; Herrera-Covarrubias, Deissy; Corona-Morales, Aleph A; Pfaus, James G; Coria-Avila, Genaro A

    2015-04-15

    Conditioned same-sex partner preference can develop in male rats that undergo cohabitation under the effects of quinpirole (QNP, D2 agonist). Herein, we assessed the development of conditioned same-sex social/sexual preference in males that received either nothing, saline, QNP, oxytocin (OT), or QNP+OT during cohabitation with another male (+) or single-caged (-). This resulted in the following groups: (1) Intact-, (2) Saline+, (3) QNP-, (4) OT-, (5) QNP+, (6) OT+ and (7) QNP/OT+. Cohabitation occurred during 24h in a clean cage with a male partner that bore almond scent on the back as conditioned stimulus. This was repeated every 4 days for a total of three trials. Social and sexual preference were assessed four days after the last conditioning trial in a drug-free test in which experimental males chose between the scented familiar male and a novel sexually receptive female. Results showed that males from groups Intact-, Saline+, QNP- and OT- displayed a clear preference for the female (opposite-sex), whereas groups QNP+, OT+ and QNP/OT+ displayed socio/sexual preference for the male partner (same-sex). In Experiment 2, the brains were processed for Nissl dye and the area size of two sexually dimorphic nuclei (SDN-POA and SON) was compared between groups. Males from groups OT-, OT+ and QNP/OT+ expressed a smaller SDN-POA and groups QNP+ and QNP/OT+ expressed a larger SON. Accordingly, conditioned same-sex social/sexual partner preference can develop during cohabitation under enhanced D2 or OT activity but such preference does not depend on the area size of those sexually dimorphic nuclei. PMID:25601575

  10. Sexual dimorphism in immune response: testing the hypothesis in an insect species with two male morphs.

    PubMed

    Ruiz-Guzmán, Gloria; Canales-Lazcano, Jorge; Jiménez-Cortés, Jesús Guillermo; Contreras-Garduño, Jorge

    2013-10-01

    It has been proposed that given that males should invest in sexual traits at the expense of their investment in immune response, females are better immunocompetent than males. Typically, this idea has been tested in monomorphic species, but rarely has been evaluated in polymorphic male species. We used Paraphlebia zoe, a damselfly with two male morphs: the black-winged morph (Black-W) develop black spots as sexual traits and the hyaline-winged morph (Hyaline-W) resembles a female in size and wings color. We predicted that Black-W should have a lower immune response than Hyaline-W, but that the latter males should not differ from females in this respect. Nitric oxide (NO) and phenoloxidase (PO) production, as well as hemolymph protein content, were used as immune markers. Body size (wing length) was used as an indicator of the male condition. The results show that, as we predicted, females and Hyaline-W had higher values of NO than Black-W, corresponding to differences in size. However, the opposite was found in relation to PO production. Females had the highest levels of hemolymph protein content, whereas no differences were found between Black-W and Hyaline-W. These results partially support the sexual selection hypothesis and are discussed in the context of the life history of this species. Black-W, Hyaline-W, and females could express the immune markers that are prioritized by their particular condition, and probably neither of them could express all immune markers in an elevated manner, as this would result in an excessive accumulation of free radicals. PMID:23956189

  11. Variability in first Homo: Analysis of the ratio between the skulls KNM-ER 1470 and KNM-ER 1813 based on sexual dimorphism of Homo sapiens.

    PubMed

    Guimarães, S W Ferreira; Lorenzo, C

    2015-10-01

    The study of the skulls KNM-ER 1470 and KNM-ER 1813, considered the first members of the genus Homo, has raised some debates. While some of researchers maintain that there is only one species, another group argues that there are two species. On one hand these two fossils are still taxonomically undetermined, on the other hand they bring up another problem related to the existence of a genus with multiple species since its beginning, according to the last discoveries. In this paper, we have compared the size ratio between these fossils with ratios established in populations of Homo sapiens, in order to know if they fit into the human standard, considering intra-sexual and inter-sexual variation. Results help to establish whether these fossils correspond to different species or their differences could be related to sexual dimorphism within a single species. PMID:26092693

  12. Epigenetic modification and inheritance in sexual reversal of fish

    PubMed Central

    Shao, Changwei; Li, Qiye; Chen, Songlin; Zhang, Pei; Lian, Jinmin; Hu, Qiaomu; Sun, Bing; Jin, Lijun; Liu, Shanshan; Wang, Zongji; Zhao, Hongmei; Jin, Zonghui; Liang, Zhuo; Li, Yangzhen; Zheng, Qiumei; Zhang, Yong; Wang, Jun; Zhang, Guojie

    2014-01-01

    Environmental sex determination (ESD) occurs in divergent, phylogenetically unrelated taxa, and in some species, co-occurs with genetic sex determination (GSD) mechanisms. Although epigenetic regulation in response to environmental effects has long been proposed to be associated with ESD, a systemic analysis on epigenetic regulation of ESD is still lacking. Using half-smooth tongue sole (Cynoglossus semilaevis) as a model—a marine fish that has both ZW chromosomal GSD and temperature-dependent ESD—we investigated the role of DNA methylation in transition from GSD to ESD. Comparative analysis of the gonadal DNA methylomes of pseudomale, female, and normal male fish revealed that genes in the sex determination pathways are the major targets of substantial methylation modification during sexual reversal. Methylation modification in pseudomales is globally inherited in their ZW offspring, which can naturally develop into pseudomales without temperature incubation. Transcriptome analysis revealed that dosage compensation occurs in a restricted, methylated cytosine enriched Z chromosomal region in pseudomale testes, achieving equal expression level in normal male testes. In contrast, female-specific W chromosomal genes are suppressed in pseudomales by methylation regulation. We conclude that epigenetic regulation plays multiple crucial roles in sexual reversal of tongue sole fish. We also offer the first clues on the mechanisms behind gene dosage balancing in an organism that undergoes sexual reversal. Finally, we suggest a causal link between the bias sex chromosome assortment in the offspring of a pseudomale family and the transgenerational epigenetic inheritance of sexual reversal in tongue sole fish. PMID:24487721

  13. Sexual Dimorphic Metabolic Alterations in Hepatitis C Virus-infected Patients

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Jing-Hong; Chen, Mei-Yen; Yeh, Chau-Ting; Lin, Huang-Shen; Lin, Ming-Shyan; Huang, Tung-Jung; Chang, Ming-Ling

    2016-01-01

    .932), and renal diseases (≥49 years, OR 95% CI 1.23–9.55), and with a lower rate of hypertension (≥49 years, OR 95% CI 0.616–0.964) in the females, but not in the males, as determined by multivariate analyses. Only HCV infection was associated with metabolic alterations in this HBV/HCV-hyperendemic area. Females aged ≥49 years and males of all ages exhibited HCV-associated hypolipidemia. HCV-associated cardiometabolic diseases were evident only in the females. Sex dimorphism in HCV-associated metabolic complications warrants personalized follow-up of HCV-positive patients. PMID:27149466

  14. Sexual Dimorphisms in the Associations of BMI and Body Fat with Indices of Pubertal Development in Girls and Boys

    PubMed Central

    Crocker, Melissa K.; Stern, Elizabeth A.; Sedaka, Nicole M.; Shomaker, Lauren B.; Brady, Sheila M.; Ali, Asem H.; Shawker, Thomas H.; Hubbard, Van S.

    2014-01-01

    Context: The effect of obesity and concomitant insulin resistance on pubertal development is incompletely elucidated. Objective: To determine how measures of adiposity and insulin resistance are associated with pubertal maturation in boys and girls. Setting and Design: Breast and pubic hair Tanner stage and testicular volume by orchidometry were determined by physical examination in 1066 children. Ovarian volume was estimated by trans-abdominal ultrasound. Fat mass, skeletal age, and fasting serum for insulin and glucose, total T, estradiol, estrone, dehydroepiandrosterone-sulfate, and androstenedione were measured at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Research Center. Convenience sample; 52% obese, 59% female. Results: Logistic regression identified a significant interaction between sex and obesity for prediction of pubertal development (P ≤ .01). There was a negative association between boys' testicular volume and body mass index (BMI)/fat mass but a positive association between girls' breast stage and BMI/fat mass. Ovarian volume in girls was positively associated with insulin resistance but not with BMI/fat mass. There was a positive association between obesity and measures of estrogen exposure (breast development and skeletal age) in both sexes. Positive correlations were seen for girls between BMI and pubic hair development and between insulin resistance and T production, whereas adiposity was negatively associated with pubic hair in boys. Conclusions: Significant sexual dimorphisms in the manifestations of pubertal development are seen in obese girls and boys. Two known effects of obesity, increased peripheral conversion of low-potency androgens to estrogens by adipose tissue-aromatase and increased insulin resistance, may be in large part responsible for these differences. PMID:24780051

  15. Sexually Dimorphic Gene Expression Associated with Growth and Reproduction of Tongue Sole (Cynoglossus semilaevis) Revealed by Brain Transcriptome Analysis.

    PubMed

    Wang, Pingping; Zheng, Min; Liu, Jian; Liu, Yongzhuang; Lu, Jianguo; Sun, Xiaowen

    2016-01-01

    In this study, we performed a comprehensive analysis of the transcriptome of one- and two-year-old male and female brains of Cynoglossus semilaevis by high-throughput Illumina sequencing. A total of 77,066 transcripts, corresponding to 21,475 unigenes, were obtained with a N50 value of 4349 bp. Of these unigenes, 33 genes were found to have significant differential expression and potentially associated with growth, from which 18 genes were down-regulated and 12 genes were up-regulated in two-year-old males, most of these genes had no significant differences in expression among one-year-old males and females and two-year-old females. A similar analysis was conducted to look for genes associated with reproduction; 25 genes were identified, among them, five genes were found to be down regulated and 20 genes up regulated in two-year-old males, again, most of the genes had no significant expression differences among the other three. The performance of up regulated genes in Gene Ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway enrichment analysis was significantly different between two-year-old males and females. Males had a high gene expression in genetic information processing, while female's highly expressed genes were mainly enriched on organismal systems. Our work identified a set of sex-biased genes potentially associated with growth and reproduction that might be the candidate factors affecting sexual dimorphism of tongue sole, laying the foundation to understand the complex process of sex determination of this economic valuable species. PMID:27571066

  16. Sexually dimorphic effects of neonatal immune system activation with lipopolysaccharide on the behavioural response to a homotypic adult immune challenge.

    PubMed

    Tenk, Christine M; Kavaliers, Martin; Ossenkopp, Klaus-Peter

    2008-01-01

    Research has shown that acute immune activation during the early postnatal period with the Gram-negative endotoxin, lipopolysaccharide (LPS), alters a variety of physiological and behavioural processes in the adult animal. For example, neonatal LPS exposure affects disease susceptibility later in life, though these effects appear to be modulated by time of exposure, sex, and immune stimulus. The current study examined sex differences in the effect of neonatal LPS treatment on the locomotor activity response to adult LPS administration. Male and female Long-Evans rats were treated systemically with either LPS (50 microg/kg) or saline (0.9%) on postnatal days 3 and 5. Later in adulthood (postnatal day 92), all animals were subjected to an adult LPS challenge and were injected (i.p.) with 200 microg/kg LPS. Two hours after injection, animals were placed in a non-novel open-field and locomotor activity was assessed for 30 min. Body weights were determined both at the time of injection and 24h later to examine LPS-induced weight loss. Adult males treated neonatally with LPS exhibited significantly less horizontal and vertical activity in response to the LPS challenge relative to males treated neonatally with saline. This effect was not observed in females. Thus, the current study provides important evidence of sexual dimorphism in the long-term effects of neonatal LPS exposure on the responses to an adult homotypic immune challenge in rats. These findings have potential clinical significance given that neonatal exposure to pathogens is a fairly common occurrence and Gram-negative bacteria are a common cause of neonatal bacterial infections. PMID:18280690

  17. Morphology of the tympanic-basicranial region in Mirounga leonina (Phocidae, Carnivora), postnatal ontogeny and sexual dimorphism.

    PubMed

    Loza, C M; Scarano, A C; Soibelzon, L H; Negrete, J; Carlini, A A

    2015-04-01

    The auditory region of pinnipeds has seldom been described. Here we describe and analyze the ontogenetic trajectory of the tympanic bulla of the southern elephant seal, Mirounga leonina (Phocidae, Mammalia). This species is extremely sexually dimorphic and highly polygynous (organized in harems). We examined 118 specimens, arranged in three age classes (CI, CII, and CIII), ranging from newborn to adults (males and females). To analyze the overall size and shape of the tympanic bulla we performed a geometric morphometric analysis including 87 skulls. Females reach definitive shape and size of the bulla at earlier ontogenetic stages than males, in agreement with their earlier involvement in reproductive activities. The internal anatomy of the tympanic region (e.g. form and extension of the paries) does not show remarkable differences between sexes or age classes. The greatest differences between age classes are related to bone thickness, resulting from the apposition of new annual layers. An examination of possible sex-related external differences among age classes shows significant shape differences between males and females in CIII. The morphology observed in neonates is conserved across all individuals from CI, which included specimens up to 1 year old. Clear morphological differences were observed between CI individuals, on one hand, and CII individuals plus CIII females on the other. During cranial development of both male and females, the glenoid cavity expands and compresses the bulla; this condition reaches its maximum expression in CIII males. CIII males showed the greatest morphological differences, with respect to both CI and CII individuals, and CIII females. PMID:25827162

  18. Genetic Evidence That Captured Retroviral Envelope syncytins Contribute to Myoblast Fusion and Muscle Sexual Dimorphism in Mice.

    PubMed

    Redelsperger, François; Raddi, Najat; Bacquin, Agathe; Vernochet, Cécile; Mariot, Virginie; Gache, Vincent; Blanchard-Gutton, Nicolas; Charrin, Stéphanie; Tiret, Laurent; Dumonceaux, Julie; Dupressoir, Anne; Heidmann, Thierry

    2016-09-01

    Syncytins are envelope genes from endogenous retroviruses, "captured" for a role in placentation. They mediate cell-cell fusion, resulting in the formation of a syncytium (the syncytiotrophoblast) at the fetomaternal interface. These genes have been found in all placental mammals in which they have been searched for. Cell-cell fusion is also pivotal for muscle fiber formation and repair, where the myotubes are formed from the fusion of mononucleated myoblasts into large multinucleated structures. Here we show, taking advantage of mice knocked out for syncytins, that these captured genes contribute to myoblast fusion, with a >20% reduction in muscle mass, mean muscle fiber area and number of nuclei per fiber in knocked out mice for one of the two murine syncytin genes. Remarkably, this reduction is only observed in males, which subsequently show muscle quantitative traits more similar to those of females. In addition, we show that syncytins also contribute to muscle repair after cardiotoxin-induced injury, with again a male-specific effect on the rate and extent of regeneration. Finally, ex vivo experiments carried out on murine myoblasts demonstrate the direct involvement of syncytins in fusion, with a >40% reduction in fusion index upon addition of siRNA against both syncytins. Importantly, similar effects are observed with primary myoblasts from sheep, dog and human, with a 20-40% reduction upon addition of siRNA against the corresponding syncytins. Altogether, these results show a direct contribution of the fusogenic syncytins to myogenesis, with a demonstrated male-dependence of the effect in mice, suggesting that these captured genes could be responsible for the muscle sexual dimorphism observed in placental mammals. PMID:27589388

  19. The role of oestradiol in sexually dimorphic hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis responses to intracerebroventricular ethanol administration in the rat

    PubMed Central

    Larkin, John W.; Binks, Spencer L.; Li, Yu; Selvage, Dan

    2009-01-01

    Systemic ethanol (EtOH) administration activates the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis of rats in a sexually dimorphic manner. The present studies tested the role played by the CNS in this phenomenon. In order to localize the effects of the drug to the brain, we utilized an EtOH administration paradigm whereby a small, non-toxic amount of the drug was delivered intracerebroventricularly (icv). Icv EtOH rapidly diffuses throughout the CSF and brain, and does not cause neuronal damage or have any long-term physiological or behavioral effects. Experimental groups included intact males, intact cycling females, and ovariectomized (OVX) animals with or without replacement estradiol (E2). Icv EtOH- induced HPA hormonal activation was determined by measuring plasma adrenocorticotropin (ACTH) levels. Activation of brain areas that both regulate HPA function and are responsive to gonadal hormones was determined using expression of the transcription factor c-fos (Fos) as a marker of neuronal activity. We observed sex- and estrous cycle- dependent differences in HPA activation by EtOH as measured by both these parameters. ACTH secretion was highest in females in proestrus or estrus, just prior to and after the endogenous peak of E2, as was Fos expression in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVN) and the locus coreuleus (LC) of the brainstem. In OVX animals, E2 replacement caused an increase in PVN and LC Fos expression in response to icv EtOH as compared to OVX controls, but a decrease in ACTH secretion. Taken together these results indicate that at the level of the CNS, EtOH stimulates HPA activity more robustly at times when the effects of E2 are high, but that E2 alone is not responsible for the effect. The data further suggest that the LC plays an important role in the circuitry, which appears to be different from that activated following the systemic administration of EtOH. PMID:19912475

  20. Regulators of Human White Adipose Browning: Evidence for Sympathetic Control and Sexual Dimorphic Responses to Sprint Interval Training

    PubMed Central

    Scalzo, Rebecca L.; Peltonen, Garrett L.; Giordano, Gregory R.; Binns, Scott E.; Klochak, Anna L.; Paris, Hunter L. R.; Schweder, Melani M.; Szallar, Steve E.; Wood, Lacey M.; Larson, Dennis G.; Luckasen, Gary J.; Hickey, Matthew S.; Bell, Christopher

    2014-01-01

    The conversion of white adipose to the highly thermogenic beige adipose tissue has been proposed as a potential strategy to counter the unfavorable consequences of obesity. Three regulators of this conversion have recently emerged but information regarding their control is limited, and contradictory. We present two studies examining the control of these regulators. Study 1: In 10 young men, the plasma concentrations of irisin and fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) were determined prior to and during activation of the sympathetic nervous system via hypoxic gas breathing (FIO2 = 0.11). The measurements were performed twice, once with and once without prior/concurrent sympathetic inhibition via transdermal clonidine administration. FGF21 was unaffected by basal sympathetic inhibition (338±113 vs. 295±80 pg/mL; P = 0.43; mean±SE), but was increased during hypoxia mediated sympathetic activation (368±135); this response was abrogated (P = 0.035) with clonidine (269±93). Irisin was unaffected by sympathetic inhibition and/or hypoxia (P>0.21). Study 2: The plasma concentration of irisin and FGF21, and the skeletal muscle protein content of fibronectin type III domain containing 5 (FNDC5) was determined in 19 young adults prior to and following three weeks of sprint interval training (SIT). SIT decreased FGF21 (338±78 vs. 251±36; P = 0.046) but did not affect FNDC5 (P = 0.79). Irisin was decreased in males (127±18 vs. 90±23 ng/mL; P = 0.045) and increased in females (139±14 vs. 170±18). Collectively, these data suggest a potential regulatory role of acute sympathetic activation pertaining to the browning of white adipose; further, there appears to be a sexual dimorphic response of irisin to SIT. PMID:24603718

  1. The effect of chronic ethanol ingestion on growth hormone secretion and hepatic sexual dimorphism in male rats

    SciTech Connect

    Lechner, P.S.

    1992-01-01

    The effect of chronic ethanol ingestion on the activities of several sexually dimorphic hepatic proteins was investigated in male rats by feeding a nutritionally adequate liquid diet supplemented with either ethanol or dextrimaltose. Two androgen-responsive proteins served as markers of masculine hepatic function. A high capacity, moderate affinity male estrogen-binding protein (MEB) is found only in male rat liver cytosol and this activity was significantly reduced in all animals consuming ethanol at a dose of 5% by volume. The estrogen metabolizing enzyme estrogen 2-hydroxylase was also significantly reduced in male rats fed ethanol. Two proteins having higher activity in female compared to male liver were chosen as indicators of feminization: ceruloplasmin and 5[alpha]-reductase. Ceruloplasmin activity was increased after long term feeding of ethanol, but not after shorter durations of alcohol consumption. The 5a-reductase activity was not significantly affected by any of the alcohol feeding studies. Serum testosterone levels were not significantly decreased after ethanol consumption. After 30 or 60 days of ethanol ingestion, serum estradiol was elevated 34% and 40%. The reversibility of ethanol effects was determined by a gradual withdrawal of alcohol from the diet. The effect of ethanol consumption on sex-specific patterns of growth hormone secretion was examined. The secretory pattern of alcohol-fed rats was not feminized; after ethanol ingestion, the frequency of growth hormone pulses was unchanged. An increase in pulse height and mean growth hormone concentration was observed after 60 days of ethanol consumption. This results constitutes a change away from rather than toward the characteristics of a female secretory pattern. The feminization of activities of the male estrogen binding protein and of estrogen 2-hydroxylase in male rat liver after chronic ethanol consumption are not apparently related to a feminization of growth hormone secretion pattern.

  2. Relationship between reversed sexual dimorphism, breeding investment and foraging ecology in a pelagic seabird, the masked booby.

    PubMed

    Weimerskirch, Henri; Le Corre, Matthieu; Gadenne, Hélène; Pinaud, David; Kato, Akiko; Ropert-Coudert, Yan; Bost, Charles-André

    2009-09-01

    Reversed sexual dimorphism (RSD) may be related to different roles in breeding investment and/or foraging, but little information is available on foraging ecology. We studied the foraging behaviour and parental investment by male and female masked boobies, a species with RSD, by combining studies of foraging ecology using miniaturised activity and GPS data loggers of nest attendance, with an experimental study where flight costs were increased. Males attended the chick more often than females, but females provided more food to the chick than males. Males and females foraged during similar periods of the day, had similar prey types and sizes, diving depths, durations of foraging trips, foraging zones and ranges. Females spent a smaller proportion of the foraging trip sitting on the water and had higher diving rate than males, suggesting higher foraging effort by females. In females, trip duration correlated with mass at departure, suggesting a flexible investment through control by body mass. The experimental study showed that handicapped females and female partners of handicapped males lost mass compared to control birds, whereas there was no difference for males. These results indicate that the larger female is the main provisioner of the chick in the pair, and regulates breeding effort in relation to its own body mass, whereas males have a fixed investment. The different breeding investment between the sexes is associated with contrasting foraging strategies, but no clear niche differentiation was observed. The larger size of the females may be advantageous for provisioning the chick with large quantities of energy and for flexible breeding effort, while the smaller male invests in territory defence and nest guarding, a crucial task when breeding at high densities. In masked boobies, division of labour appears to be maximal during chick rearin-g-the most energy-demanding period--and may be related to evolution of RSD. PMID:19544073

  3. RNA sequencing reveals sexually dimorphic gene expression before gonadal differentiation in chicken and allows comprehensive annotation of the W-chromosome

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Birds have a ZZ male: ZW female sex chromosome system and while the Z-linked DMRT1 gene is necessary for testis development, the exact mechanism of sex determination in birds remains unsolved. This is partly due to the poor annotation of the W chromosome, which is speculated to carry a female determinant. Few genes have been mapped to the W and little is known of their expression. Results We used RNA-seq to produce a comprehensive profile of gene expression in chicken blastoderms and embryonic gonads prior to sexual differentiation. We found robust sexually dimorphic gene expression in both tissues pre-dating gonadogenesis, including sex-linked and autosomal genes. This supports the hypothesis that sexual differentiation at the molecular level is at least partly cell autonomous in birds. Different sets of genes were sexually dimorphic in the two tissues, indicating that molecular sexual differentiation is tissue specific. Further analyses allowed the assembly of full-length transcripts for 26 W chromosome genes, providing a view of the W transcriptome in embryonic tissues. This is the first extensive analysis of W-linked genes and their expression profiles in early avian embryos. Conclusion Sexual differentiation at the molecular level is established in chicken early in embryogenesis, before gonadal sex differentiation. We find that the W chromosome is more transcriptionally active than previously thought, expand the number of known genes to 26 and present complete coding sequences for these W genes. This includes two novel W-linked sequences and three small RNAs reassigned to the W from the Un_Random chromosome. PMID:23531366

  4. Sexual dimorphism in melanin pigmentation, feather coloration and its heritability in the barn swallow (Hirundo rustica).

    PubMed

    Saino, Nicola; Romano, Maria; Rubolini, Diego; Teplitsky, Celine; Ambrosini, Roberto; Caprioli, Manuela; Canova, Luca; Wakamatsu, Kazumasa

    2013-01-01

    Melanin is the main pigment in animal coloration and considerable variation in the concentrations of the two melanin forms (pheo- and eumlanin) in pigmented tissues exists among populations and individuals. Melanin-based coloration is receiving increasing attention particularly in socio-sexual communication contexts because the melanocortin system has been hypothesized to provide a mechanistic basis for covariation between coloration and fitness traits. However, with few notable exceptions, little detailed information is available on inter-individual and inter-population variation in melanin pigmentation and on its environmental, genetic and ontogenetic components. Here, we investigate melanin-based coloration in an Italian population of a passerine bird, the barn swallow (Hirundo rustica rustica), its sex- and age-related variation, and heritability. The concentrations of eu- and pheomelanin in the throat (brown) and belly (white-to-brownish) feathers differed between sexes but not according to age. The relative concentration of either melanin (Pheo:Eu) differed between sexes in throat but not in belly feathers, and the concentrations in males compared to females were larger in belly than in throat feathers. There were weak correlations between the concentrations of melanins within as well as among plumage regions. Coloration of belly feathers was predicted by the concentration of both melanins whereas coloration of throat feathers was only predicted by pheomelanin in females. In addition, Pheo:Eu predicted coloration of throat feathers in females and that of belly feathers in males. Finally, we found high heritability of color of throat feathers. Melanization was found to differ from that recorded in Hirundo rustica rustica from Scotland or from H. r. erythrogaster from North America. Hence, present results show that pigmentation strategies vary in a complex manner according to sex and plumage region, and also among geographical populations, potentially

  5. Genetic analysis of the influence of neuroantigen-complete Freund's adjuvant emulsion structures on the sexual dimorphism and susceptibility to experimental allergic encephalomyelitis.

    PubMed

    Fillmore, Parley D; Brace, Matthew; Troutman, Scott A; Blankenhorn, Elizabeth P; Diehl, Sean; Rincon, Mercedes; Teuscher, Cory

    2003-10-01

    The induction of organ-specific autoimmune diseases, such as experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE) the principal animal model of multiple sclerosis (MS), relies on the use of complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA) emulsions. In this study we report that the physical structure of the particles comprising neuroantigen-CFA emulsions significantly influences the genetic control of the incidence and sexual dimorphism seen in EAE. Immunization of (B10.S/SgMcdJ x SJL/J) F(2) mice segregating the quantitative trait loci (QTL) controlling EAE in susceptible SJL/J and resistant B10.S/SgMcdJ mice with emulsions consisting of particles where the Mycobacterium tuberculosis and neuroantigens are localized on the phase surfaces led to severe EAE in 98.8% of the mice, overriding all sex-specific and non-sex-specific genetic checkpoints. In contrast, F(2) mice immunized with emulsions where the bacterial products and encephalitogens are buried inside the water/oil vesicles exhibited a significant reduction in disease incidence (7.5%) and a sexual dimorphism (5% male versus 10% female). A genome scan identified QTL on chromosomes 7 and 11 controlling the sexual dimorphism as a function of the physical structure of the emulsion. The chromosome 11 QTL co-localizes with eae6b, and with Il12b and heptatitis A virus cellular receptor 2 (Havcr2, formerly known as Timd3), both of which are candidate genes for this QTL. Sequence analysis of the SJL/J and B10.S/SgMcdJ alleles indicates that both gene products are structurally monomorphic. Expression analysis also excluded both as candidates for this sex-specific QTL. These results reinforce the importance of gene-environment interactions in initiating and propagating autoimmune disease of the central nervous system, particularly in the context of susceptibility to MS and disease heterogeneity. PMID:14507669

  6. Genetic Analysis of the Influence of Neuroantigen-Complete Freund’s Adjuvant Emulsion Structures on the Sexual Dimorphism and Susceptibility to Experimental Allergic Encephalomyelitis

    PubMed Central

    Fillmore, Parley D.; Brace, Matthew; Troutman, Scott A.; Blankenhorn, Elizabeth P.; Diehl, Sean; Rincon, Mercedes; Teuscher, Cory

    2003-01-01

    The induction of organ-specific autoimmune diseases, such as experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE) the principal animal model of multiple sclerosis (MS), relies on the use of complete Freund’s adjuvant (CFA) emulsions. In this study we report that the physical structure of the particles comprising neuroantigen-CFA emulsions significantly influences the genetic control of the incidence and sexual dimorphism seen in EAE. Immunization of (B10.S/SgMcdJ × SJL/J) F2 mice segregating the quantitative trait loci (QTL) controlling EAE in susceptible SJL/J and resistant B10.S/SgMcdJ mice with emulsions consisting of particles where the Mycobacterium tuberculosis and neuroantigens are localized on the phase surfaces led to severe EAE in 98.8% of the mice, overriding all sex-specific and non-sex-specific genetic checkpoints. In contrast, F2 mice immunized with emulsions where the bacterial products and encephalitogens are buried inside the water/oil vesicles exhibited a significant reduction in disease incidence (7.5%) and a sexual dimorphism (5% male versus 10% female). A genome scan identified QTL on chromosomes 7 and 11 controlling the sexual dimorphism as a function of the physical structure of the emulsion. The chromosome 11 QTL co-localizes with eae6b, and with Il12b and heptatitis A virus cellular receptor 2 (Havcr2, formerly known as Timd3), both of which are candidate genes for this QTL. Sequence analysis of the SJL/J and B10.S/SgMcdJ alleles indicates that both gene products are structurally monomorphic. Expression analysis also excluded both as candidates for this sex-specific QTL. These results reinforce the importance of gene-environment interactions in initiating and propagating autoimmune disease of the central nervous system, particularly in the context of susceptibility to MS and disease heterogeneity. PMID:14507669

  7. Sexual dimorphism in BDNF signaling after neonatal hypoxia-ischemia and treatment with necrostatin-1

    PubMed Central

    Chavez-Valdez, Raul; Martin, Lee J.; Razdan, Sheila; Gauda, Estelle B.; Northington, Frances J.

    2014-01-01

    Brain injury due to neonatal hypoxia-ischemia (HI) is more homogenously severe in male than in female mice. Because, necrostatin-1 (nec-1) prevents injury progression only in male mice, we hypothesized that changes in BDNF signaling after HI and nec-1 are also sex-specific providing differential conditions to promote recovery of those more severely injured. The increased aromatization of testosterone in male mice during early development and the link between 17-β-estradiol (E2) levels and BDNF transcription substantiate this hypothesis. Hence, we aimed to investigate if sexual differences in BDNF signaling existed in forebrain and diencephalon after HI and HI/ nec-1 and their correlation with estrogen receptors (ER). C57B6 mice (p7) received nec-1(0.1 μL[8μM]) or vehicle (veh) intracerebroventricularly after HI. At 24h after HI, BDNF levels increased in both sexes in forebrain without evidence of TrkB activation. At 96h after HI, BDNF levels in forebrain decreased below those seen in control mice of both sexes. Additionally, only in female mice, truncated TrkB (Tc.TrkB) and p75ntr levels increased in forebrain and diencephalon. In both, forebrain and diencephalon, nec-1 treatment increased BDNF levels and TrkB activation in male mice while, prevented Tc.TrkB and p75ntr increases in female mice. While E2 levels were unchanged by HI or HI/ nec-1 in either sex or treatment, ERα: ERβ ratios were increased in diencephalon of nec-1 treated male mice and directly correlated with BDNF levels. Neonatal HI produces sex-specific signaling changes in the BDNF system, that are differentially modulated by nec-1. The regional differences in BDNF levels may be a consequence of injury severity after HI, but sexual differences in response to nec-1 after HI may represent a differential thalamo-cortical preservation or alternatively off-target regional effect of nec-1. The biological significance of ERα predominance and its correlation with BDNF levels is still unclear. PMID

  8. Molecular cloning and sexually dimorphic expression of DMRT4 gene in Oreochromis aureus.

    PubMed

    Cao, Jinling; Chen, Jianjie; Wu, Tingting; Gan, Xi; Luo, Yongju

    2010-07-01

    The DM-domain gene family has at least eight members with conserved DNA-binding DM-domain, which encodes putative transcription factors related to the sexual regulator Dsx of Drosophila and Mab-3 of C. elegans. Although some of the DM genes are involved in sexual development, the function of most of these genes remains unclear. In this study, rapid amplification cDNA ends (RACE) was used for the isolation of DMRT4 full-length cDNA from the ovary of the blue tilapia Oreochromis aureus. The full-length of DMRT4 cDNA was 1,571 bp, containing the 148 bp 5'-untranslated region, 193 bp 3'-untranslated region and 1,230 bp open reading frame. The deduced amino acid sequence of the open reading frame (ORF) encoded a protein of 409 amino acids with a theoretical pI of 8.492 and a calculated molecular weight of 44.12 kDa. One conserved functional domain, DM-domain was identified in blue tilapia DMRT4. The DMRT4 full-length gene obtained from the blood was 1,741 bp, containing a 156 bp intron. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that the amino acid sequences encoded by DMRT4 genes from different species had a high degree of sequence identity as revealed in phylogenetic tree constructed. Real-time quantitative Reverse-Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) was used to analyze the expression patterns of DMRT4 in different developmental stages and different tissues in Oreochromis aureus. DMRT4 mRNA was detected from early gastrulae stage during embryonic development, and maintained a considerable high level until 1 day post hatching. With the increase of age, enhanced DMRT4 mRNA was observed in ovary and brain. After 15 and 30 days, fries treated with 17beta-estradiol had a significant increase in DMRT4 mRNA levels compared with the control fries (P < 0.05). DMRT4 was found to be expressed in the ovary and endbrain, thalamencephalon, pituitary, not detected in the liver, kidney, spleen, heart and muscle of adult fish. These results showed that the DMRT4 gene have

  9. Anti-Müllerian hormone may regulate the number of calbindin-positive neurons in the sexually dimorphic nucleus of the preoptic area of male mice

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The male brain is putatively organised early in development by testosterone, with the sexually dimorphic nucleus of the medial preoptic area (SDN) a main exemplifier of this. However, pubescent neurogenesis occurs in the rat SDN, and the immature testes secrete anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) as well as testosterone. We have therefore re-examined the development of the murine SDN to determine whether it is influenced by AMH and/or whether the number of calbindin-positive (calbindin+ve) neurons in it changes after pre-pubescent development. Methods In mice, the SDN nucleus is defined by calbindin+ve neurons (CALB-SDN). The number and size of the neurons in the CALB-SDN of male and female AMH null mutant (Amh-/-) mice and their wild-type littermates (Amh+/+) were studied using stereological techniques. Groups of mice were examined immediately before the onset of puberty (20 days postnatal) and at adulthood (129–147 days old). Results The wild-type pre-pubertal male mice had 47% more calbindin+ve neurons in the CALB-SDN than their female wild-type littermates. This sex difference was entirely absent in Amh-/- mice. In adults, the extent of sexual dimorphism almost doubled due to a net reduction in the number and size of calbindin+ve neurons in females and a net increase in neuron number in males. These changes occurred to a similar extent in the Amh-/- and Amh+/+ mice. Consequently, the number of calbindin+ve neurons in Amh-/- adult male mice was intermediate between Amh+/+ males and Amh+/+ females. The sex difference in the size of the neurons was predominantly generated by a female-specific atrophy after 20 days, independent of AMH. Conclusions The establishment of dimorphic cell number in the CALB-SDN of mice is biphasic, with each phase being subject to different regulation. The second phase of dimorphism is not dependent on the first phase having occurred as it was present in the Amh-/- male mice that have female-like numbers of calbindin+ve neurons at

  10. Effects of Developmental Exposure to 2,2′,4,4′,5-Pentabromodiphenyl Ether (PBDE-99) on Sex Steroids, Sexual Development, and Sexually Dimorphic Behavior in Rats

    PubMed Central

    Lilienthal, Hellmuth; Hack, Alfons; Roth-Härer, Astrid; Grande, Simone Wichert; Talsness, Chris E.

    2006-01-01

    Increasing concentrations of polybrominated flame retardants, including polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), in breast milk cause concern about possible developmental effects in nursed babies. Because previous studies in rats have indicated effects on sex steroids and sexually dimorphic behavior after maternal exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), our goal in the present study was to determine if developmental exposure to 2,2′,4,4′,5-pentabromodiphenyl ether (PBDE-99) induces similar endocrine-mediated effects. Pregnant rats were exposed to vehicle or PBDE-99 (1 or 10 mg/kg body weight, daily during gestational days 10–18). For comparison, we also included a group exposed to the technical PCB mixture Aroclor 1254 (30 mg/kg body weight, daily). PBDE exposure resulted in pronounced decreases in circulating sex steroids in male offspring at weaning and in adulthood. Female offspring were less affected. Anogenital distance was reduced in male offspring. Puberty onset was delayed in female offspring at the higher dose level, whereas a slight acceleration was detected in low-dose males. The number of primordial/primary ovarian follicles was reduced in females at the lower dose, whereas decline of secondary follicles was more pronounced at the higher dose. Sweet preference was dose-dependently increased in PBDE-exposed adult males, indicating a feminization of this sexually dimorphic behavior. Aroclor 1254 did not alter sweet preference and numbers of primordial/primary and secondary follicles but it did affect steroid concentrations in males and sexual development in both sexes. PBDE concentrations in tissues of dams and offspring were highest on gestational day 19. These results support the hypothesis that PBDEs are endocrine-active compounds and interfere with sexual development and sexually dimorphic behavior. PMID:16451854

  11. Endogenous control of sexual size dimorphism: Gonadal androgens have neither direct nor indirect effect on male growth in a Madagascar ground gecko (Paroedura picta).

    PubMed

    Kubička, Lukáš; Starostová, Zuzana; Kratochvíl, Lukáš

    2015-12-01

    Changes in the effect of gonadal androgens on male growth are considered as a possible mechanism allowing shifts in magnitude and even direction of sexual size dimorphism in vertebrates, particularly squamate reptiles. Positive effects of gonadal androgens on male growth were found in several male-larger species of lizards. Contrastingly, we document that in the male-larger Madagascar ground gecko (Paroedura picta) gonadal androgens do not affect male growth under constant thermal conditions. However, the absence of a thermal gradient might prevent the potential indirect effect of gonadal androgens on growth via the influence of circulating hormones on an individual's thermoregulation and hence metabolic rate. In order to study this, we monitored the growth and body temperature of socially isolated sham-operated and castrated males of the same species in a thermal gradient. We also compared the oxygen consumption and activity between the treatment groups in the open field to test the effect of gonadal hormones on these traits potentially affecting growth. Even under a thermal gradient we found no effect of gonadal androgens on growth rate or final body dimensions. Castration also did not significantly affect oxygen consumption or activity in the open field test. Together with our previous findings, we can exclude both the direct effect of male gonadal androgens on the ontogeny of sexual size dimorphism via the influence on the growth axis, and the indirect influence of gonadal androgens acting on the ontogeny of SSD through the effect on thermoregulation, metabolic rate and activity. PMID:26431613

  12. Developmental changes of nasal and oral calls in the goitred gazelle Gazella subgutturosa, a nonhuman mammal with a sexually dimorphic and descended larynx

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Efremova, Kseniya O.; Volodin, Ilya A.; Volodina, Elena V.; Frey, Roland; Lapshina, Ekaterina N.; Soldatova, Natalia V.

    2011-11-01

    In goitred gazelles ( Gazella subgutturosa), sexual dimorphism of larynx size and position is reminiscent of the case in humans, suggesting shared features of vocal ontogenesis in both species. This study investigates the ontogeny of nasal and oral calls in 23 (10 male and 13 female) individually identified goitred gazelles from shortly after birth up to adolescence. The fundamental frequency (f0) and formants were measured as the acoustic correlates of the developing sexual dimorphism. Settings for LPC analysis of formants were based on anatomical dissections of 5 specimens. Along ontogenesis, compared to females, male f0 was consistently lower both in oral and nasal calls and male formants were lower in oral calls, whereas the first two formants of nasal calls did not differ between sexes. In goitred gazelles, significant sex differences in f0 and formants appeared as early as the second week of life, while in humans they emerge only before puberty. This result suggests different pathways of vocal ontogenesis in the goitred gazelles and in humans.

  13. Sex-stratified genome-wide association studies including 270,000 individuals show sexual dimorphism in genetic loci for anthropometric traits.

    PubMed

    Randall, Joshua C; Winkler, Thomas W; Kutalik, Zoltán; Berndt, Sonja I; Jackson, Anne U; Monda, Keri L; Kilpeläinen, Tuomas O; Esko, Tõnu; Mägi, Reedik; Li, Shengxu; Workalemahu, Tsegaselassie; Feitosa, Mary F; Croteau-Chonka, Damien C; Day, Felix R; Fall, Tove; Ferreira, Teresa; Gustafsson, Stefan; Locke, Adam E; Mathieson, Iain; Scherag, Andre; Vedantam, Sailaja; Wood, Andrew R; Liang, Liming; Steinthorsdottir, Valgerdur; Thorleifsson, Gudmar; Dermitzakis, Emmanouil T; Dimas, Antigone S; Karpe, Fredrik; Min, Josine L; Nicholson, George; Clegg, Deborah J; Person, Thomas; Krohn, Jon P; Bauer, Sabrina; Buechler, Christa; Eisinger, Kristina; Bonnefond, Amélie; Froguel, Philippe; Hottenga, Jouke-Jan; Prokopenko, Inga; Waite, Lindsay L; Harris, Tamara B; Smith, Albert Vernon; Shuldiner, Alan R; McArdle, Wendy L; Caulfield, Mark J; Munroe, Patricia B; Grönberg, Henrik; Chen, Yii-Der Ida; Li, Guo; Beckmann, Jacques S; Johnson, Toby; Thorsteinsdottir, Unnur; Teder-Laving, Maris; Khaw, Kay-Tee; Wareham, Nicholas J; Zhao, Jing Hua; Amin, Najaf; Oostra, Ben A; Kraja, Aldi T; Province, Michael A; Cupples, L Adrienne; Heard-Costa, Nancy L; Kaprio, Jaakko; Ripatti, Samuli; Surakka, Ida; Collins, Francis S; Saramies, Jouko; Tuomilehto, Jaakko; Jula, Antti; Salomaa, Veikko; Erdmann, Jeanette; Hengstenberg, Christian; Loley, Christina; Schunkert, Heribert; Lamina, Claudia; Wichmann, H Erich; Albrecht, Eva; Gieger, Christian; Hicks, Andrew A; Johansson, Asa; Pramstaller, Peter P; Kathiresan, Sekar; Speliotes, Elizabeth K; Penninx, Brenda; Hartikainen, Anna-Liisa; Jarvelin, Marjo-Riitta; Gyllensten, Ulf; Boomsma, Dorret I; Campbell, Harry; Wilson, James F; Chanock, Stephen J; Farrall, Martin; Goel, Anuj; Medina-Gomez, Carolina; Rivadeneira, Fernando; Estrada, Karol; Uitterlinden, André G; Hofman, Albert; Zillikens, M Carola; den Heijer, Martin; Kiemeney, Lambertus A; Maschio, Andrea; Hall, Per; Tyrer, Jonathan; Teumer, Alexander; Völzke, Henry; Kovacs, Peter; Tönjes, Anke; Mangino, Massimo; Spector, Tim D; Hayward, Caroline; Rudan, Igor; Hall, Alistair S; Samani, Nilesh J; Attwood, Antony Paul; Sambrook, Jennifer G; Hung, Joseph; Palmer, Lyle J; Lokki, Marja-Liisa; Sinisalo, Juha; Boucher, Gabrielle; Huikuri, Heikki; Lorentzon, Mattias; Ohlsson, Claes; Eklund, Niina; Eriksson, Johan G; Barlassina, Cristina; Rivolta, Carlo; Nolte, Ilja M; Snieder, Harold; Van der Klauw, Melanie M; Van Vliet-Ostaptchouk, Jana V; Gejman, Pablo V; Shi, Jianxin; Jacobs, Kevin B; Wang, Zhaoming; Bakker, Stephan J L; Mateo Leach, Irene; Navis, Gerjan; van der Harst, Pim; Martin, Nicholas G; Medland, Sarah E; Montgomery, Grant W; Yang, Jian; Chasman, Daniel I; Ridker, Paul M; Rose, Lynda M; Lehtimäki, Terho; Raitakari, Olli; Absher, Devin; Iribarren, Carlos; Basart, Hanneke; Hovingh, Kees G; Hyppönen, Elina; Power, Chris; Anderson, Denise; Beilby, John P; Hui, Jennie; Jolley, Jennifer; Sager, Hendrik; Bornstein, Stefan R; Schwarz, Peter E H; Kristiansson, Kati; Perola, Markus; Lindström, Jaana; Swift, Amy J; Uusitupa, Matti; Atalay, Mustafa; Lakka, Timo A; Rauramaa, Rainer; Bolton, Jennifer L; Fowkes, Gerry; Fraser, Ross M; Price, Jackie F; Fischer, Krista; Krjutå Kov, Kaarel; Metspalu, Andres; Mihailov, Evelin; Langenberg, Claudia; Luan, Jian'an; Ong, Ken K; Chines, Peter S; Keinanen-Kiukaanniemi, Sirkka M; Saaristo, Timo E; Edkins, Sarah; Franks, Paul W; Hallmans, Göran; Shungin, Dmitry; Morris, Andrew David; Palmer, Colin N A; Erbel, Raimund; Moebus, Susanne; Nöthen, Markus M; Pechlivanis, Sonali; Hveem, Kristian; Narisu, Narisu; Hamsten, Anders; Humphries, Steve E; Strawbridge, Rona J; Tremoli, Elena; Grallert, Harald; Thorand, Barbara; Illig, Thomas; Koenig, Wolfgang; Müller-Nurasyid, Martina; Peters, Annette; Boehm, Bernhard O; Kleber, Marcus E; März, Winfried; Winkelmann, Bernhard R; Kuusisto, Johanna; Laakso, Markku; Arveiler, Dominique; Cesana, Giancarlo; Kuulasmaa, Kari; Virtamo, Jarmo; Yarnell, John W G; Kuh, Diana; Wong, Andrew; Lind, Lars; de Faire, Ulf; Gigante, Bruna; Magnusson, Patrik K E; Pedersen, Nancy L; Dedoussis, George; Dimitriou, Maria; Kolovou, Genovefa; Kanoni, Stavroula; Stirrups, Kathleen; Bonnycastle, Lori L; Njølstad, Inger; Wilsgaard, Tom; Ganna, Andrea; Rehnberg, Emil; Hingorani, Aroon; Kivimaki, Mika; Kumari, Meena; Assimes, Themistocles L; Barroso, Inês; Boehnke, Michael; Borecki, Ingrid B; Deloukas, Panos; Fox, Caroline S; Frayling, Timothy; Groop, Leif C; Haritunians, Talin; Hunter, David; Ingelsson, Erik; Kaplan, Robert; Mohlke, Karen L; O'Connell, Jeffrey R; Schlessinger, David; Strachan, David P; Stefansson, Kari; van Duijn, Cornelia M; Abecasis, Gonçalo R; McCarthy, Mark I; Hirschhorn, Joel N; Qi, Lu; Loos, Ruth J F; Lindgren, Cecilia M; North, Kari E; Heid, Iris M

    2013-06-01

    Given the anthropometric differences between men and women and previous evidence of sex-difference in genetic effects, we conducted a genome-wide search for sexually dimorphic associations with height, weight, body mass index, waist circumference, hip circumference, and waist-to-hip-ratio (133,723 individuals) and took forward 348 SNPs into follow-up (additional 137,052 individuals) in a total of 94 studies. Seven loci displayed significant sex-difference (FDR<5%), including four previously established (near GRB14/COBLL1, LYPLAL1/SLC30A10, VEGFA, ADAMTS9) and three novel anthropometric trait loci (near MAP3K1, HSD17B4, PPARG), all of which were genome-wide significant in women (P<5×10(-8)), but not in men. Sex-differences were apparent only for waist phenotypes, not for height, weight, BMI, or hip circumference. Moreover, we found no evidence for genetic effects with opposite directions in men versus women. The PPARG locus is of specific interest due to its role in diabetes genetics and therapy. Our results demonstrate the value of sex-specific GWAS to unravel the sexually dimorphic genetic underpinning of complex traits. PMID:23754948

  14. Intraspecific variation and sexual dimorphism in cranial and dental variables among higher primates and their bearing on the hominid fossil record.

    PubMed Central

    Wood, B A; Li, Y; Willoughby, C

    1991-01-01

    The extent and nature of dental and cranial sexual dimorphisms in extant hominoids have been investigated using reliably sexed samples of Homo sapiens (n = 75), Pan troglodytes (n = 51), Gorilla gorilla (n = 64) and Pongo pygmaeus (n = 43). Seventy nine measurements (35 dental, 16 mandibular and 28 cranial) formed the basis of the study. The patterns of mean differences and dispersions between the taxa were compared across the anatomical regions and the group structures of the separate sex samples were analysed using multivariate (PCA and CVA) analysis. Within and between group variations were compared across the taxa to investigate whether any variables were consistently effective sex or taxonomic discriminators. The study confirmed that there were differences in degree and pattern of sexual dimorphism between the extant higher primates, but the results did not substantiate the distribution of patterns as suggested by Oxnard et al. (1985); in particular there was no evidence of the dispersion differences noted by those authors. There were sufficient consistencies in the behaviour of variables across the four taxa to suggest that all canine dimensions, postcanine crown buccolingual dimensions and mandibular and cranial breadths are generally good sex discriminators, whereas some incisor dimensions, postcanine crown mesiodistal dimensions and facial heights are more effective at discriminating between the four extant taxa included in this study. PMID:2032934

  15. Sexual dimorphism of the lateral angle of the internal auditory canal and its potential for sex estimation of burned human skeletal remains.

    PubMed

    Gonçalves, David; Thompson, Tim J U; Cunha, Eugénia

    2015-09-01

    The potential of the petrous bone for sex estimation has been recurrently investigated in the past because it is very resilient and therefore tends to preserve rather well. The sexual dimorphism of the lateral angle of the internal auditory canal was investigated in two samples of cremated Portuguese individuals in order to assess its usefulness for sex estimation in burned remains. These comprised the cremated petrous bones from fleshed cadavers (N = 54) and from dry and disarticulated bones (N = 36). Although differences between males and females were more patent in the sample of skeletons, none presented a very significant sexual dimorphism, thus precluding any attempt of sex estimation. This may have been the result of a difficult application of the method and of a differential impact of heat-induced warping which is known to be less frequent in cremains from dry skeletons. Results suggest that the lateral angle method cannot be applied to burned human skeletal remains. PMID:25649669

  16. Sex-stratified Genome-wide Association Studies Including 270,000 Individuals Show Sexual Dimorphism in Genetic Loci for Anthropometric Traits

    PubMed Central

    Jackson, Anne U.; Monda, Keri L.; Kilpeläinen, Tuomas O.; Esko, Tõnu; Mägi, Reedik; Li, Shengxu; Workalemahu, Tsegaselassie; Feitosa, Mary F.; Croteau-Chonka, Damien C.; Day, Felix R.; Fall, Tove; Ferreira, Teresa; Gustafsson, Stefan; Locke, Adam E.; Mathieson, Iain; Scherag, Andre; Vedantam, Sailaja; Wood, Andrew R.; Liang, Liming; Steinthorsdottir, Valgerdur; Thorleifsson, Gudmar; Dermitzakis, Emmanouil T.; Dimas, Antigone S.; Karpe, Fredrik; Min, Josine L.; Nicholson, George; Clegg, Deborah J.; Person, Thomas; Krohn, Jon P.; Bauer, Sabrina; Buechler, Christa; Eisinger, Kristina; Bonnefond, Amélie; Froguel, Philippe; Hottenga, Jouke-Jan; Prokopenko, Inga; Waite, Lindsay L.; Harris, Tamara B.; Smith, Albert Vernon; Shuldiner, Alan R.; McArdle, Wendy L.; Caulfield, Mark J.; Munroe, Patricia B.; Grönberg, Henrik; Chen, Yii-Der Ida; Li, Guo; Beckmann, Jacques S.; Johnson, Toby; Thorsteinsdottir, Unnur; Teder-Laving, Maris; Khaw, Kay-Tee; Wareham, Nicholas J.; Zhao, Jing Hua; Amin, Najaf; Oostra, Ben A.; Kraja, Aldi T.; Province, Michael A.; Cupples, L. Adrienne; Heard-Costa, Nancy L.; Kaprio, Jaakko; Ripatti, Samuli; Surakka, Ida; Collins, Francis S.; Saramies, Jouko; Tuomilehto, Jaakko; Jula, Antti; Salomaa, Veikko; Erdmann, Jeanette; Hengstenberg, Christian; Loley, Christina; Schunkert, Heribert; Lamina, Claudia; Wichmann, H. Erich; Albrecht, Eva; Gieger, Christian; Hicks, Andrew A.; Johansson, Åsa; Pramstaller, Peter P.; Kathiresan, Sekar; Speliotes, Elizabeth K.; Penninx, Brenda; Hartikainen, Anna-Liisa; Jarvelin, Marjo-Riitta; Gyllensten, Ulf; Boomsma, Dorret I.; Campbell, Harry; Wilson, James F.; Chanock, Stephen J.; Farrall, Martin; Goel, Anuj; Medina-Gomez, Carolina; Rivadeneira, Fernando; Estrada, Karol; Uitterlinden, André G.; Hofman, Albert; Zillikens, M. Carola; den Heijer, Martin; Kiemeney, Lambertus A.; Maschio, Andrea; Hall, Per; Tyrer, Jonathan; Teumer, Alexander; Völzke, Henry; Kovacs, Peter; Tönjes, Anke; Mangino, Massimo; Spector, Tim D.; Hayward, Caroline; Rudan, Igor; Hall, Alistair S.; Samani, Nilesh J.; Attwood, Antony Paul; Sambrook, Jennifer G.; Hung, Joseph; Palmer, Lyle J.; Lokki, Marja-Liisa; Sinisalo, Juha; Boucher, Gabrielle; Huikuri, Heikki; Lorentzon, Mattias; Ohlsson, Claes; Eklund, Niina; Eriksson, Johan G.; Barlassina, Cristina; Rivolta, Carlo; Nolte, Ilja M.; Snieder, Harold; Van der Klauw, Melanie M.; Van Vliet-Ostaptchouk, Jana V.; Gejman, Pablo V.; Shi, Jianxin; Jacobs, Kevin B.; Wang, Zhaoming; Bakker, Stephan J. L.; Mateo Leach, Irene; Navis, Gerjan; van der Harst, Pim; Martin, Nicholas G.; Medland, Sarah E.; Montgomery, Grant W.; Yang, Jian; Chasman, Daniel I.; Ridker, Paul M.; Rose, Lynda M.; Lehtimäki, Terho; Raitakari, Olli; Absher, Devin; Iribarren, Carlos; Basart, Hanneke; Hovingh, Kees G.; Hyppönen, Elina; Power, Chris; Anderson, Denise; Beilby, John P.; Hui, Jennie; Jolley, Jennifer; Sager, Hendrik; Bornstein, Stefan R.; Schwarz, Peter E. H.; Kristiansson, Kati; Perola, Markus; Lindström, Jaana; Swift, Amy J.; Uusitupa, Matti; Atalay, Mustafa; Lakka, Timo A.; Rauramaa, Rainer; Bolton, Jennifer L.; Fowkes, Gerry; Fraser, Ross M.; Price, Jackie F.; Fischer, Krista; KrjutÅ¡kov, Kaarel; Metspalu, Andres; Mihailov, Evelin; Langenberg, Claudia; Luan, Jian'an; Ong, Ken K.; Chines, Peter S.; Keinanen-Kiukaanniemi, Sirkka M.; Saaristo, Timo E.; Edkins, Sarah; Franks, Paul W.; Hallmans, Göran; Shungin, Dmitry; Morris, Andrew David; Palmer, Colin N. A.; Erbel, Raimund; Moebus, Susanne; Nöthen, Markus M.; Pechlivanis, Sonali; Hveem, Kristian; Narisu, Narisu; Hamsten, Anders; Humphries, Steve E.; Strawbridge, Rona J.; Tremoli, Elena; Grallert, Harald; Thorand, Barbara; Illig, Thomas; Koenig, Wolfgang; Müller-Nurasyid, Martina; Peters, Annette; Boehm, Bernhard O.; Kleber, Marcus E.; März, Winfried; Winkelmann, Bernhard R.; Kuusisto, Johanna; Laakso, Markku; Arveiler, Dominique; Cesana, Giancarlo; Kuulasmaa, Kari; Virtamo, Jarmo; Yarnell, John W. G.; Kuh, Diana; Wong, Andrew; Lind, Lars; de Faire, Ulf; Gigante, Bruna; Magnusson, Patrik K. E.; Pedersen, Nancy L.; Dedoussis, George; Dimitriou, Maria; Kolovou, Genovefa; Kanoni, Stavroula; Stirrups, Kathleen; Bonnycastle, Lori L.; Njølstad, Inger; Wilsgaard, Tom; Ganna, Andrea; Rehnberg, Emil; Hingorani, Aroon; Kivimaki, Mika; Kumari, Meena; Assimes, Themistocles L.; Barroso, Inês; Boehnke, Michael; Borecki, Ingrid B.; Deloukas, Panos; Fox, Caroline S.; Frayling, Timothy; Groop, Leif C.; Haritunians, Talin; Hunter, David; Ingelsson, Erik; Kaplan, Robert; Mohlke, Karen L.; O'Connell, Jeffrey R.; Schlessinger, David; Strachan, David P.; Stefansson, Kari; van Duijn, Cornelia M.; Abecasis, Gonçalo R.; McCarthy, Mark I.; Hirschhorn, Joel N.; Qi, Lu; Loos, Ruth J. F.; Lindgren, Cecilia M.; North, Kari E.; Heid, Iris M.

    2013-01-01

    Given the anthropometric differences between men and women and previous evidence of sex-difference in genetic effects, we conducted a genome-wide search for sexually dimorphic associations with height, weight, body mass index, waist circumference, hip circumference, and waist-to-hip-ratio (133,723 individuals) and took forward 348 SNPs into follow-up (additional 137,052 individuals) in a total of 94 studies. Seven loci displayed significant sex-difference (FDR<5%), including four previously established (near GRB14/COBLL1, LYPLAL1/SLC30A10, VEGFA, ADAMTS9) and three novel anthropometric trait loci (near MAP3K1, HSD17B4, PPARG), all of which were genome-wide significant in women (P<5×10−8), but not in men. Sex-differences were apparent only for waist phenotypes, not for height, weight, BMI, or hip circumference. Moreover, we found no evidence for genetic effects with opposite directions in men versus women. The PPARG locus is of specific interest due to its role in diabetes genetics and therapy. Our results demonstrate the value of sex-specific GWAS to unravel the sexually dimorphic genetic underpinning of complex traits. PMID:23754948

  17. Disruption of STAT5b-Regulated Sexual Dimorphism of the Liver Transcriptome by Diverse Factors Is a Common Event

    PubMed Central

    Oshida, Keiyu; Vasani, Naresh; Waxman, David J.; Corton, J. Christopher

    2016-01-01

    Signal transducer and activator of transcription 5b (STAT5b) is a growth hormone (GH)-activated transcription factor and a master regulator of sexually dimorphic gene expression in the liver. Disruption of the GH hypothalamo-pituitary-liver axis controlling STAT5b activation can lead to metabolic dysregulation, steatosis, and liver cancer. Computational approaches were developed to identify factors that disrupt STAT5b function in a mouse liver gene expression compendium. A biomarker comprised of 144 STAT5b-dependent genes was derived using comparisons between wild-type male and wild-type female mice and between STAT5b-null and wild-type mice. Correlations between the STAT5b biomarker gene set and a test set comprised of expression datasets (biosets) with known effects on STAT5b function were evaluated using a rank-based test (the Running Fisher algorithm). Using a similarity p-value ≤ 10−4, the test achieved a balanced accuracy of 99% and 97% for detection of STAT5b activation or STAT5b suppression, respectively. The STAT5b biomarker gene set was then used to identify factors that activate (masculinize) or suppress (feminize) STAT5b function in an annotated mouse liver and primary hepatocyte gene expression compendium of ~1,850 datasets. Disruption of GH-regulated STAT5b is a common phenomenon in liver in vivo, with 5% and 29% of the male datasets, and 11% and 13% of the female datasets, associated with masculinization or feminization, respectively. As expected, liver STAT5b activation/masculinization occurred at puberty and suppression/feminization occurred during aging and in mutant mice with defects in GH signaling. A total of 70 genes were identified that have effects on STAT5b activation in genetic models in which the gene was inactivated or overexpressed. Other factors that affected liver STAT5b function were shown to include fasting, caloric restriction and infections. Together, these findings identify diverse factors that perturb the hypothalamo

  18. Disruption of STAT5b-Regulated Sexual Dimorphism of the Liver Transcriptome by Diverse Factors Is a Common Event.

    PubMed

    Oshida, Keiyu; Vasani, Naresh; Waxman, David J; Corton, J Christopher

    2016-01-01

    Signal transducer and activator of transcription 5b (STAT5b) is a growth hormone (GH)-activated transcription factor and a master regulator of sexually dimorphic gene expression in the liver. Disruption of the GH hypothalamo-pituitary-liver axis controlling STAT5b activation can lead to metabolic dysregulation, steatosis, and liver cancer. Computational approaches were developed to identify factors that disrupt STAT5b function in a mouse liver gene expression compendium. A biomarker comprised of 144 STAT5b-dependent genes was derived using comparisons between wild-type male and wild-type female mice and between STAT5b-null and wild-type mice. Correlations between the STAT5b biomarker gene set and a test set comprised of expression datasets (biosets) with known effects on STAT5b function were evaluated using a rank-based test (the Running Fisher algorithm). Using a similarity p-value ≤ 10(-4), the test achieved a balanced accuracy of 99% and 97% for detection of STAT5b activation or STAT5b suppression, respectively. The STAT5b biomarker gene set was then used to identify factors that activate (masculinize) or suppress (feminize) STAT5b function in an annotated mouse liver and primary hepatocyte gene expression compendium of ~1,850 datasets. Disruption of GH-regulated STAT5b is a common phenomenon in liver in vivo, with 5% and 29% of the male datasets, and 11% and 13% of the female datasets, associated with masculinization or feminization, respectively. As expected, liver STAT5b activation/masculinization occurred at puberty and suppression/feminization occurred during aging and in mutant mice with defects in GH signaling. A total of 70 genes were identified that have effects on STAT5b activation in genetic models in which the gene was inactivated or overexpressed. Other factors that affected liver STAT5b function were shown to include fasting, caloric restriction and infections. Together, these findings identify diverse factors that perturb the hypothalamo

  19. Sex-specific foraging behaviour in a seabird with reversed sexual dimorphism: the red-footed booby.

    PubMed

    Weimerskirch, Henri; Le Corre, Matthieu; Ropert-Coudert, Yan; Kato, Akiko; Marsac, Francis

    2006-01-01

    Most hypotheses attempting to explain the evolution of reversed sexual dimorphism (RSD) assume that size-related differences in foraging ability are of prime importance, but the studies on sex-specific differences in foraging behaviour remain scarce. We compare the foraging behaviour of males and females in a seabird species with a RSD by using several miniaturised activity and telemetry loggers. In red-footed boobies males are 5% smaller and 15% lighter than females, but have a longer tail than females. Both sexes spend similar time on the nest while incubating or brooding. When foraging at sea, males and females spend similar time foraging in oceanic waters, forage in similar areas, spend similar proportion of their foraging trip in flight, and feed on similar prey-flying fishes and flying squids-of similar size. However, compared to males, females range farther during incubation (85 km vs. 50 km), and furthermore feed mostly at the extremity of their foraging trip, whereas males actively forage throughout the trip. Males are much more active than females, landing and diving more often. During the study period, males lost mass, whereas females showed no significant changes. These results indicate that males and females of the red-footed boobies differ in several aspects in their foraging behaviour. Although some differences found in the study may be the direct result of the larger size of females, that is, the slightly higher speeds and deeper depths attained by females, others indicate clearly different foraging strategies between the sexes. The smaller size and longer tail of males confer them a higher agility, and could allow them to occupy a foraging niche different from that of females. The higher foraging effort of males related to its different foraging strategy is probably at the origin of the rapid mass loss of males during the breeding period. These results suggest that foraging differences are probably the reason for the differential breeding

  20. New Protocetid Whale from the Middle Eocene of Pakistan: Birth on Land, Precocial Development, and Sexual Dimorphism

    PubMed Central

    Gingerich, Philip D.; ul-Haq, Munir; von Koenigswald, Wighart; Sanders, William J.; Smith, B. Holly; Zalmout, Iyad S.

    2009-01-01

    Background Protocetidae are middle Eocene (49–37 Ma) archaeocete predators ancestral to later whales. They are found in marine sedimentary rocks, but retain four legs and were not yet fully aquatic. Protocetids have been interpreted as amphibious, feeding in the sea but returning to land to rest. Methodology/Principal Findings Two adult skeletons of a new 2.6 meter long protocetid, Maiacetus inuus, are described from the early middle Eocene Habib Rahi Formation of Pakistan. M. inuus differs from contemporary archaic whales in having a fused mandibular symphysis, distinctive astragalus bones in the ankle, and a less hind-limb dominated postcranial skeleton. One adult skeleton is female and bears the skull and partial skeleton of a single large near-term fetus. The fetal skeleton is positioned for head-first delivery, which typifies land mammals but not extant whales, evidence that birth took place on land. The fetal skeleton has permanent first molars well mineralized, which indicates precocial development at birth. Precocial development, with attendant size and mobility, were as critical for survival of a neonate at the land-sea interface in the Eocene as they are today. The second adult skeleton is the most complete known for a protocetid. The vertebral column, preserved in articulation, has 7 cervicals, 13 thoracics, 6 lumbars, 4 sacrals, and 21 caudals. All four limbs are preserved with hands and feet. This adult is 12% larger in linear dimensions than the female skeleton, on average, has canine teeth that are 20% larger, and is interpreted as male. Moderate sexual dimorphism indicates limited male-male competition during breeding, which in turn suggests little aggregation of food or shelter in the environment inhabited by protocetids. Conclusions/Significance Discovery of a near-term fetus positioned for head-first delivery provides important evidence that early protocetid whales gave birth on land. This is consistent with skeletal morphology enabling

  1. Developmental treatment with ethinyl estradiol, but not bisphenol A, causes alterations in sexually dimorphic behaviors in male and female Sprague Dawley rats.

    PubMed

    Ferguson, Sherry A; Law, Charles Delbert; Kissling, Grace E

    2014-08-01

    The developing central nervous system may be particularly sensitive to bisphenol A (BPA)-induced alterations. Here, pregnant Sprague Dawley rats (n = 11-12/group) were gavaged daily with vehicle, 2.5 or 25.0 μg/kg BPA, or 5.0 or 10.0 μg/kg ethinyl estradiol (EE2) on gestational days 6-21. The BPA doses were selected to be below the no-observed-adverse-effect level (NOAEL) of 5 mg/kg/day. On postnatal days 1-21, all offspring/litter were orally treated with the same dose. A naïve control group was not gavaged. Body weight, pubertal age, estrous cyclicity, and adult serum hormone levels were measured. Adolescent play, running wheel activity, flavored solution intake, female sex behavior, and manually elicited lordosis were assessed. No significant differences existed between the vehicle and naïve control groups. Vehicle controls exhibited significant sexual dimorphism for most behaviors, indicating these evaluations were sensitive to sex differences. However, only EE2 treatment caused significant effects. Relative to female controls, EE2-treated females were heavier, exhibited delayed vaginal opening, aberrant estrous cyclicity, increased play behavior, decreased running wheel activity, and increased aggression toward the stimulus male during sexual behavior assessments. Relative to male controls, EE2-treated males were older at testes descent and preputial separation and had lower testosterone levels. These results suggest EE2-induced masculinization/defeminization of females and are consistent with increased volume of the sexually dimorphic nucleus of the preoptic area (SDN-POA) at weaning in female siblings of these subjects (He, Z., Paule, M. G. and Ferguson, S. A. (2012) Low oral doses of bisphenol A increase volume of the sexually dimorphic nucleus of the preoptic area in male, but not female, rats at postnatal day 21. Neurotoxicol. Teratol. 34, 331-337). Although EE2 treatment caused pubertal delays and decreased testosterone levels in males, their

  2. Developmental Treatment with Ethinyl Estradiol, but Not Bisphenol A, Causes Alterations in Sexually Dimorphic Behaviors in Male and Female Sprague Dawley Rats

    PubMed Central

    Ferguson, Sherry A.; Law, Charles Delbert; Kissling, Grace E.

    2014-01-01

    The developing central nervous system may be particularly sensitive to bisphenol A (BPA)-induced alterations. Here, pregnant Sprague Dawley rats (n = 11–12/group) were gavaged daily with vehicle, 2.5 or 25.0 μg/kg BPA, or 5.0 or 10.0 μg/kg ethinyl estradiol (EE2) on gestational days 6–21. The BPA doses were selected to be below the no-observed-adverse-effect level (NOAEL) of 5 mg/kg/day. On postnatal days 1–21, all offspring/litter were orally treated with the same dose. A naïve control group was not gavaged. Body weight, pubertal age, estrous cyclicity, and adult serum hormone levels were measured. Adolescent play, running wheel activity, flavored solution intake, female sex behavior, and manually elicited lordosis were assessed. No significant differences existed between the vehicle and naïve control groups. Vehicle controls exhibited significant sexual dimorphism for most behaviors, indicating these evaluations were sensitive to sex differences. However, only EE2 treatment caused significant effects. Relative to female controls, EE2-treated females were heavier, exhibited delayed vaginal opening, aberrant estrous cyclicity, increased play behavior, decreased running wheel activity, and increased aggression toward the stimulus male during sexual behavior assessments. Relative to male controls, EE2-treated males were older at testes descent and preputial separation and had lower testosterone levels. These results suggest EE2-induced masculinization/defeminization of females and are consistent with increased volume of the sexually dimorphic nucleus of the preoptic area (SDN-POA) at weaning in female siblings of these subjects (He, Z., Paule, M. G. and Ferguson, S. A. (2012) Low oral doses of bisphenol A increase volume of the sexually dimorphic nucleus of the preoptic area in male, but not female, rats at postnatal day 21. Neurotoxicol. Teratol. 34, 331–337). Although EE2 treatment caused pubertal delays and decreased testosterone levels in males, their

  3. Sexual dimorphism in cancer.

    PubMed

    Clocchiatti, Andrea; Cora, Elisa; Zhang, Yosra; Dotto, G Paolo

    2016-05-01

    The incidence of many types of cancer arising in organs with non-reproductive functions is significantly higher in male populations than in female populations, with associated differences in survival. Occupational and/or behavioural factors are well-known underlying determinants. However, cellular and molecular differences between the two sexes are also likely to be important. In this Opinion article, we focus on the complex interplay that sex hormones and sex chromosomes can have in intrinsic control of cancer-initiating cell populations, the tumour microenvironment and systemic determinants of cancer development, such as the immune system and metabolism. A better appreciation of these differences between the two sexes could be of substantial value for cancer prevention as well as treatment. PMID:27079803

  4. A mechanism underlying the sexually dimorphic ACTH response to lipopolysaccharide in rats: sex steroid modulation of cytokine binding sites in the hypothalamus

    PubMed Central

    Watanobe, Hajime; Yoneda, Masashi

    2003-01-01

    It is well established that the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal responses to immune stressors are sexually dimorphic in rodents (females > males), but the underlying mechanism is still unclear. To investigate the mechanism, in this study we examined whether the sex steroid environment affects the following variables in male and female rats: (1) plasma levels of ACTH, interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6 and tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) after systemic lipopolysaccharide (LPS) administration; (2) static concentrations of corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) and arginine vasopressin (AVP) in the mediobasal hypothalamus (MBH) and those of ACTH in the anterior pituitary (AP); and (3) the binding characteristics of IL-1β, IL-6 and TNF-α in the MBH and AP. LPS-induced ACTH release was significantly higher in female than in male rats, and this sexual difference was abolished by performing gonadectomy in both sexes. Administration of physiological doses of testosterone and oestradiol to gonadectomized males and females, respectively, restored the altered ACTH responses to normal. Changes in the sex steroid milieu did not affect plasma cytokine responses to LPS, tissue contents of CRH, AVP and ACTH, or the IL-6 binding characteristics in the MBH and AP. However, the number of IL-1β and TNF-α binding sites, but not their binding affinities, in the MBH showed significant changes according to altered sex hormone milieu, in the same direction as the LPS-induced ACTH response. These results suggest that the hypothalamic sensitivity to peripheral IL-1β and TNF-α may be an important mechanism underlying the sexually dimorphic ACTH response to LPS in rats. PMID:12562959

  5. Monoclonal antibodies reveal cell-type-specific antigens in the sexually dimorphic olfactory system of Manduca sexta. I. Generation of monoclonal antibodies and partial characterization of the antigens.

    PubMed

    Hishinuma, A; Hockfield, S; McKay, R; Hildebrand, J G

    1988-01-01

    The olfactory system of the moth Manduca sexta is sexually dimorphic. Male moths possess a male-specific olfactory "subsystem," comprising olfactory receptor cells (ORCs) and CNS neurons and synaptic areas associated with the detection of female sex pheromones, in addition to elements common to males and females. In order to explore the molecular differences between cells that subserve the sexual dimorphism and odor-specificity of components of the olfactory system, we generated monoclonal antibodies (Mabs) against tissue of the olfactory system of the moth. In 2 fusions, we screened 1105 hybridoma lines and obtained 272 lines that secreted antibodies against Manduca nervous tissue, as assayed immunocytochemically on sections of the primary olfactory center (the antennal lobe) in the brain of Manduca. We describe here 3 classes of Mabs exemplifying the several cell-type-specific antibodies obtained through the screening procedure. Seven hybridoma lines secrete antibodies that specifically recognize cell bodies, axons, and initial segments of dendrites of many or all ORCs of both males and females (classified as olfactory-specific antibodies, OSAs). Electron-microscopic studies of 2 of the Mabs in this class showed that they recognize antigens associated with the cell membrane and that the immunoreactive ORC axons are bundled together in fascicles in the antennal nerve. On immunoblots, one of the OSA Mabs recognizes 3 distinct protein bands of apparent Mrs 42,000, 59,000, and 66,000 Da. When tissue samples enriched in either receptor cell bodies, dendrites, and initial segments of axons or in distal segments of axons and their terminals and synapses were extracted separately, different patterns of bands were detected--42,000 and 59,000 Da bands from cell bodies and initial segments of axons and dendrites, and 42,000 and 66,000 Da bands from distal segments of axons and their terminals--suggesting that the 59,000 Da protein is modified to the 66,000 Da protein during

  6. Behavioral Sexual Dimorphism in School-Age Children and Early Developmental Exposure to Dioxins and PCBs: A Follow-Up Study of the Duisburg Cohort

    PubMed Central

    Ranft, Ulrich; Wittsiepe, Jürgen; Kasper-Sonnenberg, Monika; Fürst, Peter; Krämer, Ursula; Seitner, Gabriele; Wilhelm, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Background: Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are persistent organic pollutants that have been characterized as endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs). Objectives: Within the Duisburg birth cohort study, we studied associations of prenatal exposure to PCDD/Fs and PCBs with parent-reported sexually dimorphic behavior in children. Methods: We measured lipid-based and WHO2005-TEQ (toxic equivalents established in 2005 by the World Health Organization)–standardized PCDD/Fs and PCBs in maternal blood samples and in early breast milk using gas chromatography/high-resolution mass spectrometry. At the child’s age of 6–8 years, parents (mostly mothers) reported sex-typical characteristics, preferred toys, and play activities using the Pre-School Activities Inventory (PSAI), which was used to derive feminine, masculine, and difference (feminine – masculine) scores. We estimated exposure–outcome associations using multivariate linear regression. A total of 91–109 children were included in this follow-up. Results: Mean blood levels of summed WHO2005-TEQ–standardized dioxins (ΣPCDD/Fs) were 14.5 ± 6.4 pg/g blood lipids, and ΣPCBs were 6.9 ± 3.8 pg/g blood lipids, with similar values for milk lipids. Regression analyses revealed some highly significant interactions between sex and exposure—such as for ΣPCBs in milk, pronounced positive (boys: β = 3.24; CI = 1.35, 5.14) or negative (girls: β = –3.59; CI = –1.10, –6.08) associations with reported femininity. Less pronounced and mostly insignificant but consistent associations were found for the masculinity score, positive for boys and negative for girls. Conclusions: Given our results and the findings of previous studies, we conclude that there is sufficient evidence that these EDCs modify behavioral sexual dimorphism in children, presumably by interacting with the hypothalamic–pituitary–gonadal axis. Citation: Winneke G, Ranft U

  7. Sexual dimorphism of arg-vasotocin gene expressing neurons in the telencephalon and dorsal diencephalon of the domestic fowl. An immunocytochemical and in situ hybridization study.

    PubMed

    Jurkevich, A; Barth, S W; Grossmann, R

    1997-01-01

    A strong sex dimorphism in the distribution of immunoreactive arginine-vasotocin (AVT) and AVT mRNA was observed in telencephalic and dorsal diencephalic areas of the domestic fowl using immunocytochemistry and in situ hybridization. Two subgroups of immunoreactive parvocellular perikarya surrounded by dense plexus of immunoreactive fibres were found within the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis and the dorsal part of the diencephalic paraventricular region of males. No signs of immunoreactivity were observed within corresponding regions of the female brain. Instead, in females a few scattered weakly stained perikarya were observed rostrally to the level of the anterior commissure, juxtapositioned to the nucleus accumbens and the floor of the lateral ventricle. The distribution of AVT mRNA containing cell profiles fully confirmed the immunocytochemical findings. Osmotic stress induced by water deprivation for 48 h had no influence on the number of immunoreactive or AVT mRNA containing parvocellular cell bodies. However, it resulted in an increase of immunoreactive cell area in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis and dorsal diencephalon of 5. 9 and 11.7%, respectively. We suggest that the sexually dimorphic vasotocinergic circuit may be involved in the co-ordination of behavioural and autonomic functions in response to environmental stress. PMID:9011403

  8. A TgCRND8 Mouse Model of Alzheimer's Disease Exhibits Sexual Dimorphisms in Behavioral Indices of Cognitive Reserve.

    PubMed

    Granger, Matthew W; Franko, Bettina; Taylor, Matthew W; Messier, Claude; George-Hyslop, Peter St; Bennett, Steffany A L

    2016-02-10

    Cognitive decline is sexually dimorphic in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Men show higher incidences of amnestic mild cognitive impairment yet women disproportionally phenoconvert to AD. It is hypothesized that men maintain greater cognitive reserve than women under comparable amyloid-β (Aβ) challenge. One behavioral aspect of cognitive reserve in mice is the capacity to cope with Aβ-associated stereotypies by switching to increasingly effective navigational search strategies in the Morris water maze. To explore inherent sex differences in this paradigm, however, we require an AβPP mouse model wherein behavioral flexibility is impaired earlier in females than males despite equivalent Aβ load. Here, we show that when F1 C57Bl/6×C3H/HeJ TgCRND8 mice are placed on C57Bl/6 background, N5 Tg males and females exhibit equivalent Aβ pathologies at 2, 4, 6, and 8 months of age yet females display learning and memory deficits earlier than males. We further show that this N5 line does not carry the autosomal recessive pde6brd1 mutation that impairs visual acuity and that the estrous cycle is not disrupted on this genetic background. At 5.5 months of age, Tg males, but not females, compensate for Aβ-associated stereotypic behaviors (i.e., hyperactive tight circling) by alternating navigational search strategies and adopting increasingly productive spatial search strategies. Females fail to overcome Aβ-associated stereotypies and do not efficiently switch from systematic to spatial learning strategies. Together, these data identify a novel AβPP mouse model that can be used for preclinical testing of interventions targeting sexual dimorphisms in behavioral indices of cognitive reserve. PMID:26890738

  9. Stereological assessment of sexual dimorphism in the rat liver reveals differences in hepatocytes and Kupffer cells but not hepatic stellate cells.

    PubMed

    Marcos, Ricardo; Lopes, Célia; Malhão, Fernanda; Correia-Gomes, Carla; Fonseca, Sónia; Lima, Margarida; Gebhardt, Rolf; Rocha, Eduardo

    2016-06-01

    There is long-standing evidence that male and female rat livers differ in enzyme activity. More recently, differences in gene expression profiling have also been found to exist; however, it is still unclear whether there is morphological expression of male/female differences in the normal liver. Such differences could help to explain features seen at the pathological level, such as the greater regenerative potential generally attributed to the female liver. In this paper, hepatocytes (HEP), Kupffer cells (KC) and hepatic stellate cells (HSC) of male and female rats were examined to investigate hypothesised differences in number, volume and spatial co-localisation of these cell types. Immunohistochemistry and design-based stereology were used to estimate total numbers, numbers per gram and mean cell volumes. The position of HSC within lobules (periportal vs. centrilobular) and their spatial proximity to KC was also assessed. In addition, flow cytometry was used to investigate the liver ploidy. In the case of HEP and KC, differences in the measured cell parameters were observed between male and female specimens; however, no such differences were detected for HSC. Female samples contained a higher number of HEP per gram, with more binucleate cells. The HEP nuclei were smaller in females, which was coincident with more abundant diploid particles in these animals. The female liver also had a greater number of KC per gram, with a lower percentage of KC in the vicinity of HSC compared with males. In this study, we document hitherto unknown morphological sexual dimorphism in the rat liver, namely in HEP and KC. These differences may account for the higher regenerative potential of the female liver and lend weight to the argument for considering the rat liver as a sexually dimorphic organ. PMID:26892301

  10. Bone Mass and Strength in School-Age Children Exhibit Sexual Dimorphism Related to Differences in Lean Mass: The Generation R Study.

    PubMed

    Medina-Gomez, Carolina; Heppe, Denise Hm; Yin, Jia-Lian; Trajanoska, Katerina; Uitterlinden, André G; Beck, Thomas J; Jaddoe, Vincent Wv; Rivadeneira, Fernando

    2016-05-01

    Bone strength, a key determinant of fracture risk, has been shown to display clear sexual dimorphism after puberty. We sought to determine whether sex differences in bone mass and hip bone geometry as an index of strength exist in school-age prepubertal children and the degree to which the differences are independent of body size and lean mass. We studied 3514 children whose whole-body and hip scans were measured using the same densitometer (GE-Lunar iDXA) at a mean age of 6.2 years. Hip dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scans underwent hip structural analyses (HSA) with derivation of bone strength indices. Sex differences in these parameters were assessed by regression models adjusted for age, height, ethnicity, weight, and lean mass fraction (LMF). Whole-body bone mineral density (BMD) and bone mineral content (BMC) levels were 1.3% and 4.3% higher in girls after adjustment by LMF. Independent of LMF, boys had 1.5% shorter femurs, 1.9% and 2.2% narrower shaft and femoral neck with 1.6% to 3.4% thicker cortices than girls. Consequent with this geometry configuration, girls observed 6.6% higher stresses in the medial femoral neck than boys. When considering LMF, the sexual differences on the derived bone strength indices were attenuated, suggesting that differences in muscle loads may reflect an innate disadvantage in bone strength in girls, as consequence of their lower muscular acquisition. In summary, we show that bone sexual dimorphism is already present at 6 years of age, with boys having stronger bones than girls, the relation of which is influenced by body composition and likely attributable to differential adaptation to mechanical loading. Our results support the view that early life interventions (ie, increased physical activity) targeted during the pre- and peripubertal stages may be of high importance, particularly in girls, because before puberty onset, muscle mass is strongly associated with bone density and geometry in children. © 2015 American

  11. Molecular cloning and functional characterization of the sex-determination gene doublesex in the sexually dimorphic broad-horned beetle Gnatocerus cornutus (Coleoptera, Tenebrionidae).

    PubMed

    Gotoh, Hiroki; Ishiguro, Mai; Nishikawa, Hideto; Morita, Shinichi; Okada, Kensuke; Miyatake, Takahisa; Yaginuma, Toshinobu; Niimi, Teruyuki

    2016-01-01

    Various types of weapon traits found in insect order Coleoptera are known as outstanding examples of sexually selected exaggerated characters. It is known that the sex determination gene doublesex (dsx) plays a significant role in sex-specific expression of weapon traits in various beetles belonging to the superfamily Scarabaeoidea. Although sex-specific weapon traits have evolved independently in various Coleopteran groups, developmental mechanisms of sex-specific expression have not been studied outside of the Scarabaeoidea. In order to test the hypothesis that dsx-dependent sex-specific expression of weapon traits is a general mechanism among the Coleoptera, we have characterized the dsx in the sexually dimorphic broad-horned beetle Gnatocerus cornutus (Tenebrionidea, Tenebirionidae). By using molecular cloning, we identified five splicing variants of Gnatocerus cornutus dsx (Gcdsx), which are predicted to code four different isoforms. We found one male-specific variant (GcDsx-M), two female-specific variants (GcDsx-FL and GcDsx-FS) and two non-sex-specific variants (correspond to a single isoform, GcDsx-C). Knockdown of all Dsx isoforms resulted in intersex phenotype both in male and female. Also, knockdown of all female-specific isoforms transformed females to intersex phenotype, while did not affect male phenotype. Our results clearly illustrate the important function of Gcdsx in determining sex-specific trait expression in both sexes. PMID:27404087

  12. Molecular cloning and functional characterization of the sex-determination gene doublesex in the sexually dimorphic broad-horned beetle Gnatocerus cornutus (Coleoptera, Tenebrionidae)

    PubMed Central

    Gotoh, Hiroki; Ishiguro, Mai; Nishikawa, Hideto; Morita, Shinichi; Okada, Kensuke; Miyatake, Takahisa; Yaginuma, Toshinobu; Niimi, Teruyuki

    2016-01-01

    Various types of weapon traits found in insect order Coleoptera are known as outstanding examples of sexually selected exaggerated characters. It is known that the sex determination gene doublesex (dsx) plays a significant role in sex-specific expression of weapon traits in various beetles belonging to the superfamily Scarabaeoidea. Although sex-specific weapon traits have evolved independently in various Coleopteran groups, developmental mechanisms of sex-specific expression have not been studied outside of the Scarabaeoidea. In order to test the hypothesis that dsx-dependent sex-specific expression of weapon traits is a general mechanism among the Coleoptera, we have characterized the dsx in the sexually dimorphic broad-horned beetle Gnatocerus cornutus (Tenebrionidea, Tenebirionidae). By using molecular cloning, we identified five splicing variants of Gnatocerus cornutus dsx (Gcdsx), which are predicted to code four different isoforms. We found one male-specific variant (GcDsx-M), two female-specific variants (GcDsx-FL and GcDsx-FS) and two non-sex-specific variants (correspond to a single isoform, GcDsx-C). Knockdown of all Dsx isoforms resulted in intersex phenotype both in male and female. Also, knockdown of all female-specific isoforms transformed females to intersex phenotype, while did not affect male phenotype. Our results clearly illustrate the important function of Gcdsx in determining sex-specific trait expression in both sexes. PMID:27404087

  13. Higher reproductive success of small males and greater recruitment of large females may explain strong reversed sexual dimorphism (RSD) in the northern goshawk.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Camacho, L; García-Salgado, G; Rebollo, S; Martínez-Hesterkamp, S; Fernández-Pereira, J M

    2015-02-01

    Reversed sexual dimorphism (RSD), which occurs when the female of a species is larger than the male, is the rule for most birds of prey but the exception among other bird and mammal species. The selective pressures that favour RSD are an intriguing issue in animal ecology. Despite the large number of hypotheses proposed to explain the evolution of RSD, there is still no consensus about the mechanisms involved and whether they act on one or both sexes, mainly because few intrapopulation studies have been undertaken and few raptor species have been investigated. Using the strongly size-dimorphic northern goshawk (Accipiter gentilis L.) as a model, we studied a population with one of the highest densities of breeding pairs reported in the literature in order to understand selective pressures that may favour RSD. We evaluated life-history processes, including recruitment of adult breeders and reproductive success, and we explored the mechanisms thought to act on each sex, including hunting efficiency, diet, body condition and mate choice. We found that smaller males produced more fledglings than larger ones, but there was no relationship between size and reproductive success for females. The mean body size of female breeders was larger than that of female fledglings, but male fledglings and breeders did not differ in size. Male body size was related to the type but not to the amount of prey captured during the nestling stage. We conclude that RSD may be favoured in this goshawk population because small males tend to enjoy higher reproductive success and large females greater recruitment. Our results do not support the hypotheses that evolutionary reduction in male size is driven by hunting efficiency, at least during the nestling stage, or the hypotheses that it is driven by greater recruitment. Our findings also suggest that increase in female size is driven by recruitment, rather than by reproductive success as previously postulated. PMID:25424156

  14. Maternal endocrine adaptation throughout pregnancy to nutrient manipulation: consequences for sexually dimorphic programming of thyroid hormones and development of their progeny.

    PubMed

    Micke, G C; Sullivan, T M; Kennaway, D J; Hernandez-Medrano, J; Perry, V E A

    2015-03-01

    Maternal nutrient restriction during critical windows of fetal development alters postnatal growth, often in a sexually dimorphic manner. Intrauterine growth restriction is frequently characterized by accelerated growth and increased adiposity in later life. Thyroid hormones are implicated as part of the mechanism involved in this scenario via their actions within the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis. We fed high (H = 240%) and low (L = 70%) levels of recommended daily crude protein intake during the first and second trimesters of gestation to beef heifers to investigate effects to their progeny's plasma concentrations of free and total triiodothyronine (FT3 and TT3) and thyroxine (FT4 and TT4) from birth until weaning at 191 days of age (n = 68). The study design was a two-by-two factorial. For male progeny, exposure to maternal diets low in protein during the first trimester of gestation resulted in greater FT4 at birth (P < 0.05) which was subsequent to lower concentrations of leptin in maternal plasma at 271 days of gestation compared with their high-protein-exposed counterparts. These same animals went on to have greater milk intake during the latter half of the lactation period (P < 0.05) and exhibited faster rates of average daily gain (ADG) relative to birth weight during this time (P < 0.05). For all progeny, independent of sex, exposure to low-protein maternal diets during the second trimester of gestation resulted in greater FT3 relative to TT3 at birth. Because FT3 at birth and 29 days was positively associated with ADG (P < 0.05) and ADG relative to birth weight (P < 0.05), it is proposed that FT3 plays an integral role in catch-up growth in the bovine as per other species. Protein intake during the first and second trimesters of gestation has a sexually dimorphic effect on progeny plasma thyroid hormone concentrations, and these changes are associated with altered milk intake and postnatal growth pathway. PMID:25492373

  15. Effects of autonomic balance and fluid and electrolyte changes on cardiac function in infarcted rats: A serial study of sexual dimorphism.

    PubMed

    Souza, N S; Dos-Santos, R C; Silveira, Anderson Luiz Bezerra da; R, Sonoda-Côrtes; Gantus, Michel Alexandre Villani; Fortes, F S; Olivares, Emerson Lopes

    2016-04-01

    Premenopausal women are known to show lower incidence of cardiovascular disease than men. During myocardial infarction (MI), homeostatic responses are activated, including the sympathetic autonomic nervous system and the rennin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, which is related to the fluid and electrolyte balance, both aiming to maintain cardiac output. This study sought to perform a serial evaluation of sexual dimorphism in cardiac autonomic control and fluid and electrolyte balance during the development of MI-induced heart failure in rats. Experimental MI was induced in male (M) and female (F) adult (7-9 weeks of age) Wistar rats. The animals were placed in metabolic cages to assess fluid intake and urine volume 1 and 4 weeks after inducing MI (male myocardial infarction (MMI) and female myocardial infarction (FMI) groups). They subsequently underwent echocardiographic evaluation and spectral analysis of heart rate variability. After completing each protocol, the animals were killed for postmortem evaluation and histology. The MMI group showed earlier and more intense cardiac morphological and functional changes than the FMI group, although the extent of MI did not differ between groups (P > 0.05). The MMI group showed higher sympathetic modulation and sodium and water retention than the FMI group (P < 0.05), which may partly explain both the echocardiographic and pathological findings. Females subjected to infarction seem to show attenuation of sympathetic modulation, more favourable fluid and electrolyte balances, and better preserved cardiac function compared to males subjected to the same infarction model. PMID:26748814

  16. Potential environmental influences on variation in body size and sexual size dimorphism among Arizona populations of the western diamond-backed rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Amarello, M.; Nowak, E.M.; Taylor, E.N.; Schuett, G.W.; Repp, R.A.; Rosen, P.C.; Hardy, D.L.

    2010-01-01

    Differences in resource availability and quality along environmental gradients are important influences contributing to intraspecific variation in body size, which influences numerous life-history traits. Here, we examined variation in body size and sexual size dimorphism (SSD) in relation to temperature, seasonality, and precipitation among 10 populations located throughout Arizona of the western diamond-backed rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox). Specifically, in our analyses we addressed the following questions: (i) Are adult males larger in cooler, wetter areas? (ii) Does female body size respond differently to environmental variation? (iii) Is seasonality a better predictor of body size variation? (iv) Is SSD positively correlated with increased resources? We demonstrate that male and female C. atrox are larger in body size in cooler (i.e., lower average annual maximum, minimum, and mean temperature) and wetter areas (i.e., higher average annual precipitation, more variable precipitation, and available surface water).