Anogenital Distance and Condition as Predictors of Litter Sex Ratio in Two Mouse Species: A Study of the House Mouse (Mus musculus) and Mound-Building Mouse (Mus spicilegus)

Péter Szenczi, Oxána Bánszegi, Zita Groó, V. Altbäcker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Trivers - Willard hypothesis (1973) suggests that the maternal condition may affect the female's litter size and sex ratio. Since then other factors had been found. Previous findings revealed in the case of some mammalian species, that females with larger anogenital distance have smaller litters, while the sex ratio is male-biased. That has only been demonstrated in laboratory animals, while the genetic diversity of a wild population could mask the phenomenon seen in laboratory colonies. We examined the connection between morphological traits (weight and anogenital distance) and the reproductive capacity of two wild mice species, the house mouse and the mound-building mice. We showed in both species that anogenital distance and body weight correlated positively in pre-pubertal females, but not in adults. Neither the house mouse nor the mound-building mouse mothers' weight had effect on their litter's size and sex ratio. Otherwise connection was found between the mothers' anogenital distance and their litters' sex ratio in both species. The results revealed that females with larger anogenital distance delivered male biased litter in both species. The bias occurred as while the number of female pups remained the same; mothers with large anogenital distance delivered more male pups compared to the mothers with small anogenital distance. We concluded that a female's prenatal life affects her reproductive success more than previously anticipated.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere74066
JournalPLoS One
Volume8
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 19 2013

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Mus
Sex Ratio
Mus musculus
litters (young animals)
sex ratio
mice
Masks
Litter Size
Animals
litter size
pups
Weights and Measures
animal genetics
Laboratory Animals
laboratory animals
reproductive performance
Body Weight
Mothers
genetic variation
body weight

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Anogenital Distance and Condition as Predictors of Litter Sex Ratio in Two Mouse Species : A Study of the House Mouse (Mus musculus) and Mound-Building Mouse (Mus spicilegus). / Szenczi, Péter; Bánszegi, Oxána; Groó, Zita; Altbäcker, V.

In: PLoS One, Vol. 8, No. 9, e74066, 19.09.2013.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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