Revue : PloSone
Maternal antibody transmission in relation to mother fluctuating asymmetry in a long-lived colonial seabird: the yellow-legged gull Larus michahellis
A. HAMMOUDA, S. SELMI, J. PEARCE-DUVET, M.A. CHOKRI, A. ARNAL, M. GAUTHIER-CLERC, T. BOULINIER
Female birds transfer antibodies to their offspring via the egg yolk, thus possibly providing passive immunity against infectious diseases to which hatchlings may be exposed, thereby affecting their fitness. It is nonetheless unclear whether the amount of maternal antibodies transmitted into egg yolks varies with female quality and egg laying order. In this paper, we investigated the transfer of maternal antibodies against type A influenza viruses (anti-AIV antibodies) by a long-lived colonial seabird, the yellow-legged gull (Larus michahellis), in relation to fluctuating asymmetry in females, i.e. the random deviation from perfect symmetry in bilaterally symmetric morphological and anatomical traits. In particular, we tested whether females with greater asymmetry transmitted fewer antibodies to their eggs, and whether within-clutch variation in yolk antibodies varied according to the maternal level of fluctuating asymmetry. We found that asymmetric females were in worse physical condition, produced fewer antibodies, and transmitted lower amounts of antibodies to their eggs. We also found that, within a given clutch, yolk antibody level decreased with egg laying order, but this laying order effect was more pronounced in clutches laid by the more asymmetric females. Overall, our results support the hypothesis that maternal quality interacts with egg laying order in determining the amount of maternal antibodies transmitted to the yolks. They also highlight the usefulness of fluctuating asymmetry as a sensitive indicator of female quality and immunocompetence in birds.
Bibliographie complète :
HAMMOUDA A., SELMI S., PEARCE-DUVET J., CHOKRI M. A., ARNAL A., GAUTHIER-CLERC M. & BOULINIER T., 2012. Maternal antibody transmission in relation to mother fluctuating asymmetry in a long-lived colonial seabird: the yellow-legged gull Larus michahellis. PLoS One 7(5): e34966.