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      Consequences of advanced maternal age on reproductive investment by male offspring

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      Journal of Orthoptera Research

      Pensoft Publishers

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          Abstract

          Maternal age can have contrasting effects on a variety of offspring fitness traits. While the effects of maternal age on offspring traits that are not sex-specific, such as body size and growth rate, as well as on traits specific to females, have been well researched, traits that are specific to male offspring have been understudied. Across taxa, male reproductive investment is a particularly salient component of fitness, especially when females mate with several males. We tested whether maternal age affects the reproductive traits of their male offspring by comparing the investment made by male field crickets, Teleogryllus oceanicus, from ‘young’ and ‘old’ maternal age treatments. Female T. oceanicus mate with several males, and sperm competition is a fair lottery, so male reproductive investment is important for fitness in this system. After two generations of mating young and old females, we measured the testes mass, spermatophore mold mass, and sperm viability of their male offspring. Despite differences in maternal and grand-maternal age and the demonstrated effects of advanced maternal age on egg number and offspring immunocompetency in this system, the male offspring of young and old females did not differ in reproductive tissues and sperm viability. This study is one of the first to examine the effect of maternal age on fitness-related traits specific to male offspring, and we encourage future research that tests the effects of maternal age on male offspring in other species.

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          Most cited references 32

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          Sperm competition, male prudence and sperm-limited females

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            Testis weight, body weight and breeding system in primates.

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              MATERNAL AGE AS A DETERMINANT OF LARVAL GROWTH AND SURVIVAL IN A MARINE FISH, SEBASTES MELANOPS

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Journal of Orthoptera Research
                JOR
                Pensoft Publishers
                1937-2426
                1082-6467
                May 14 2020
                May 14 2020
                : 29
                : 1
                : 71-76
                Article
                10.3897/jor.29.39228
                © 2020

                http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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