By using food rations and thyroxine supplements, I manipulated the growth and differentiation of tadpoles of the toad Bufo americanus to test the hypothesis that the plasticity in metamorphic timing can be lost. A significant food effect indicated that tadpoles that grew rapidly during the middle period of the experiment metamorphosed earlier than slow-growing tadpoles. The changes in growth induced early and late in this experiment did not influence metamorphic timing. There was a significant thyroxine effect: all tadpoles treated with thyroxine metamorphosed early. All thyroxine-treated tadpoles metamorphosed at the same time, indicating that differentiation at the time of thyroxine supplementation was independent of growth rate. A food-by-thyroxine interaction provided evidence that the growth rate/differentiation antagonism may have been active at least during the middle of the experiment. This suggests that the growth rate/differentiation antagonism is decoupled or overridden during later stages of larval development. This result implies limits to metamorphic plasticity and is consistent with a fixed-rate model of amphibian metamorphosis.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 2001 • No. 3