Developmental instability in Japanese quail genetically selected for contrasting adrenocortical responsiveness

Department of Poultry Science, Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station, Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge 70803, USA.
Poultry Science (Impact Factor: 1.67). 12/2000; 79(12):1710-4. DOI: 10.1093/ps/79.12.1710
Source: PubMed


Differences in developmental instability were assessed with Japanese quail of two lines that had been genetically selected over several generations for reduced (low stress, LS) or exaggerated (high stress, HS) plasma corticosterone response to brief mechanical restraint. At 32 wk of age, three bilateral traits were selected for study in each quail line. The characteristics chosen were length of the metatarsus (shank length, SHL), diameter of the shank (SHD) perpendicular to the spur, and distance between the auditory canal and the nares (face length, FL). Significantly greater bilateral trait size variances were associated with the measurement of SHL (P < 0.0088) and FL (P < 0.0016) in the HS line than in the LS line. SHD variances did not differ (P = 0.22) in quail of the HS and LS lines. These findings suggest that developmental instability (i.e., fluctuating asymmetry, FA) is more pronounced in HS quail than in LS quail. Previous studies have shown that not only do quail of the HS line show greater adrenocortical responsiveness to a wide range of stressors but that they are also more easily frightened than LS birds. Therefore, the line differences in FA found here may reflect the birds' differential responsiveness to chronic social and physical environmental stressors. The present findings also support previous suggestions that measuring asymmetries in bilateral traits could be an additional and valid method of assessing stress and of comparing phenotypic stability in selected populations.

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    • "TI duration is a measurement of the fearfulness (Gallup 1979) and it could be used as criterion for measuring the level of stress of the birds. Similarly, the magnitude of asymmetries might be used as a valid measure of stress and as a means of identifying the optimal rearing conditions (Satterlee et al. 2000. Higher the adaptability lesser will be the stress and hence lesser TI duration and asymmetry. "
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    ABSTRACT: The present study was conducted to characterize Ghagus, a native breed of chicken for production, adaptability, semen and egg quality traits in comparison with PD4 birds. Sex wise body weight and shank length of Ghagus birds recorded at 40 weeks of age were significantly lesser than those of PD4 birds. Ghagus birds had significantly higher tonic immobility (TI) duration and asymmetry of shank length than those of PD4 birds but no differences were observed for number of attempts to induce TI and asymmetry of shank width and middle toe length. Mean shank width and middle toe lengths were significantly higher in PD4 birds. Ghagus birds produced significantly lesser number of eggs up to 40 weeks of age with smaller egg size. With respect to semen quality traits, Ghagus roosters had significantly better appearance and concentration of spermatozoa than PD4 birds. Study of egg quality traits revealed significantly better albumen index in Ghagus as compared to PD4 birds. However, significantly higher egg weight, yolk, albumen and shell weights were observed in PD4 birds as compared to Ghagus breed with no significant differences in other egg quality traits. The study indicated that, there is a scope for improvement of this important native chicken breed for growth and production traits as semen and egg quality traits were at desirable levels.
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    • "Similarly, the 12L:12D birds showed little response to being crated, whereas birds in all other treatment groups had increased CORT concentrations. Satterlee et al. (2000) found that quail selected for either a high or low CORT response to a variety of stressors also exhibited differences in physical asymmetry, with high CORT birds being more asymmetrical, indicating that there are links between asymmetry and the physiological responsiveness of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. However, there were no differences between the treatments in the current study in CORT levels in response to the ACTH challenge, which demonstrates that the HPA axis was not affected directly by the treatments. "
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    ABSTRACT: Providing light during incubation has been shown to decrease bilateral physical asymmetry of broilers posthatch, which may indicate that early light stimulation reduces later stress susceptibility. This experiment evaluated the effects of lighting during embryogenesis on other measures of stress responsiveness in broilers. Cobb 500 eggs (n = 1,404) were incubated under 0L:24D, 1L:23D, 6L:18D, or 12L:12D; the light level was 550 lx. The broilers were then raised in floor pens under a 12L:12D lighting regimen, and various stress parameters were measured during wk 3 to 6 of age. There was an effect of incubation lighting regimen on posthatch stress responses. Following 1 h of crating, the change in corticosterone (CORT) concentration was less in the 12L:12D (−0.06 ng/mL, P < 0.05) treatment than all other treatments (pooled mean = 0.24 ng/mL); however, there were no treatment differences in CORT response to adrenocorticotropic hormone administration (pooled mean pre- vs. 1 h postadministration = 17.5 ng/mL, P > 0.05). Anti-keyhole limpet hemocyanin titers were higher in the 12L:12D birds (92,395 units/mL; P < 0.05) than all other treatments (pooled mean = 68,407 units/mL) on d 1 postcrating. Additionally, composite asymmetry scores were lower in the 12L:12D treatment (0.92 mm) than all other treatments (pooled mean = 1.14 mm, P < 0.05). These results demonstrate that providing 12 h of light per day during incubation can reduce the stress susceptibility of broilers posthatch.
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    • "Japanese quail from G 37 of 2 lines selected for either a low (LS) or high (HS) plasma B response to brief mechanical restraint (Satterlee and Johnson, 1988) were studied. The most recent genetic history of the lines, up to G 36 , is discussed in detail elsewhere (Satterlee et al., 2000, 2006, 2007; Marin and Satterlee, 2004). It should also be noted that, although line differences in levels of plasma B were not directly measured herein, recent findings in the stress lines (see papers cited above) attest to the maintenance of divergent adrenocortical responsiveness to a variety of nonspecific systemic stressors , for instance, in juveniles, 5 min of handling (G 32 ; a 4-fold plasma B HS > LS line difference; J. F. Cockrem and E. J. Candy, Massey University, New Zealand, and S. A. Castille and D. G. Satterlee, Louisiana State University , unpublished data); 5 min of either restraint, handling, or exposure to a novel object (G 32 ; 2.7-, 1.6-, and 1.9-fold plasma B HS > LS line differences, respectively ; J. F. Cockrem and E. J. Candy, Massey University , New Zealand, and S. A. Castille and D. G. Satterlee , Louisiana State University, unpublished data); and 5 min of exposure to the same novel object (G 34 ; a 1.5-fold HS > LS line difference; J. F. Cockrem and E. J. Candy, Massey University, New Zealand, and S. A. Castille and D. G. Satterlee, Louisiana State University , unpublished data). "
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    ABSTRACT: Quail hens selected for exaggerated (HS, high stress) rather than reduced (LS, low stress) plasma corticosterone (B) response to brief restraint deposit more B into their egg yolks than do LS hens. Female progeny of HS hens implanted with B also show reduced egg production when compared with female offspring of LS- and HS-control and LS-B-implanted hens. Herein, LS and HS hens were implanted (s.c.) with empty (controls, CON) or B-filled silastic tubes to assess the interactive influences of maternal B-treatment with quail stress line on egg fertility (FERT), total egg hatchability (TOTHATCH) and fertile egg hatchability, and the percentages of embryonic mortality (early dead, ED; late dead) and pipped eggs. Mean FERT was dramatically reduced in eggs of HS compared with LS hens and B-implanted compared with CON-treated hens (P < 0.0001, both cases). Line x implant treatment FERT outcomes partitioned (P < 0.05) as follows: LS-B = LS-CON > HS-CON > HS-B. In addition, TOTHATCH was also affected by line (LS > HS; P < 0.0001) and implant treatment (CON > B-implant; P < 0.0002) and line x implant treatment TOTHATCH means differed (P < 0.05) as follows: LS-CON = LS-B = HS-CON > HS-B. Fertile egg hatchability was reduced (P < 0.05) in HS-B-treated hen eggs when compared with LS-B and HS-CON hen eggs and more (P < 0.05) ED embryos were found in eggs laid by HS-B-implanted hens than in any other treatment group. Late dead and pipped egg percentages were unaffected by any treatment. The findings are important to avian geneticists because they further emphasize the benefits that selection for reduced adrenocortical responsiveness has on hen reproductive performance. The maternal B findings also warn poultry and hatchery managers that unless hen stress during egg formation is avoided, negative consequences in FERT, TOTHATCH, and ED can result, particularly in hens genetically predisposed toward exaggerated adrenal stress responsiveness.
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