Young parents produce offspring with short telomeres: A study in a long-lived bird, the Black-browed albatross (Thalassarche melanophrys). - INRA - Institut national de la recherche agronomique Access content directly
Journal Articles PLoS ONE Year : 2018

Young parents produce offspring with short telomeres: A study in a long-lived bird, the Black-browed albatross (Thalassarche melanophrys).

Abstract

In wild vertebrates, young parents are less likely to successfully rear offspring relative to older ones because of lower parental skills (‘the constraint hypothesis’), lower parental investment (‘the restraint hypothesis’) or because of a progressive disappearance of lower-quality individ-uals at young ages (‘the selection hypothesis’). Because it is practically difficult to follow an offspring during its entire life, most studies have only focused on the ability of individuals to breed or produce young, while neglecting the ability of such young to subsequently survive and reproduce. Several proxies of individual quality can be useful to assess the ability of young to survive and recruit into the population. Among them, telomere length measurement appears especially promising because telomere length has been linked to longevity and fit-ness in captive and wild animals. By sampling 51 chicks reared by known-aged parents, we specifically tested whether parental age was correlated to offspring telomere length and body condition in a long-lived bird species, the Black-browed Albatross (Thalassarche mela-nophrys). Young Black-browed albatrosses produced chicks with shorter telomere relative to those raised by older ones. Short offspring telomeres could result from poor developmental conditions or heritability of telomere length. Moreover, young parents also had chicks of lower body condition when compared with older parents, although this effect was significant in female offspring only. Overall, our study demonstrates that parental age is correlated to two proxies of offspring fitness (body condition and telomere length), suggesting therefore that older individuals provide better parental cares to their offspring because of increased parental investment (restraint hypothesis), better foraging/parental skills (constraint hypothesis) or because only high-quality individuals reach older ages (selection hypothesis).
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hal-01763532 , version 1 (24-05-2024)

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Sophie Marie Dupont, Christophe Barbraud, Olivier Chastel, Karine Delord, Stéphanie Ruault, et al.. Young parents produce offspring with short telomeres: A study in a long-lived bird, the Black-browed albatross (Thalassarche melanophrys).. PLoS ONE, 2018, 13 (3), pp.e0193526. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0193526⟩. ⟨hal-01763532⟩
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