Male three-spined sticklebacks Gasterosteus aculeatus make antibiotic nests: A novel form of parental protection?

T. J. Little, M. Perutz, M. Palmer, C. Crossan, V. A. Braithwaite

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

The egg nest of male three-spined sticklebacks Gasterosteus aculeatus is constructed with a glue-like secretion that this study demonstrates has antimicrobial properties. Glue collected from reproductively active males decreased the growth rate of bacteria and opportunistic fungi, and eggs were more likely to mature and hatch after exposure to their father's glue. This phenomenon may represent a direct physiological contribution from a male towards protecting his offspring from pathogens, and if so is a novel form of parental protection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2380-2389
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Fish Biology
Volume73
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science

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