Reproductive performance in female birds improves with age, and this is generally attributed to experiences obtained during breeding. In temperate-zone species, experience with photostimulation during the first breeding year may prime the hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal axis to respond to photic cues more rapidly or robustly in subsequent years. To test this idea, we captured 32 photorefractory juvenile (hence naive to photostimulation) female European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) and held half of them (naive group) on a photoperiod of 8L:16D for 32 wk and the other half (experienced group) on 8L:16D for 12 wk, 16L:8D for 12 wk, and then 8L:16D for 8 wk. When we subsequently transferred all birds to 16L:8D, the increase in body mass, which may presage egg laying in the wild, was more robust in experienced than in naive females. Experienced females also showed a more robust elevation in plasma concentrations of the yolk-precursor protein vitellogenin, although naive females showed an initial rapid but transient rise in vitellogenin that we attribute to their extended exposure to short-day photoperiods prior to photostimulation. Finally, the photo-induced increase in diameter of the largest ovarian follicle, in plasma concentrations of luteinizing hormone, and in the number of septo-preoptic fibers relative to the number of cell bodies immunoreactive to GnRH was greater in experienced than in naive females. Thus, prior experience with photostimulation enhances some initial phases of photo-induced reproductive development and may explain, in part, why reproductive performance improves with age in temperate-zone birds.
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.