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Seasonal Regulation of Reproduction in Vertebrates: Special Focus on Avian Strategy

  • Ai Shinomiya
  • Takashi Yoshimura
Chapter
Part of the Diversity and Commonality in Animals book series (DCA)

Abstract

Temperate zones are characterized by seasonal changes in the environment; therefore, reproduction in most temperate animal species is restricted to a specific season to maximize the survival of their offspring. Among vertebrates, birds have evolved highly sophisticated mechanisms for seasonal reproduction to accommodate their adaptation for flight. For example, the mass of Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) testes increases more than 100-fold within a few weeks. Under short-day conditions, gonadal development is suppressed and testes retain their immature size. However, when quail are transferred to long-day conditions, germ cell differentiation begins immediately. Conversely, when they are transferred to winter conditions (short day and low temperature), arrested meiosis and germ cell apoptosis cause rapid testicular regression. Recent molecular analysis revealed the signal transduction pathway regulating seasonal reproduction. Comparative analysis of seasonal reproduction in various species also revealed both the similarity (i.e., signal transduction machineries) and diversity (i.e., responsible cells or organs) of these mechanisms among various vertebrate species.

Keywords

Seasonal reproduction Photoperiodism Thyroid hormone Thyrotropin 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by Funding Program for Next Generation World Leading Researchers (NEXT Program) initiated by the Council for Science and Technology Policy (CSTP)(LS055) and JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number 26000013.

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Copyright information

© Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Seasonal Biology, National Institute for Basic BiologyOkazakiJapan
  2. 2.Laboratory of Animal Physiology, Graduate School of Bioagricultural SciencesNagoya UniversityNagoyaJapan
  3. 3.Institute of Transformative Bio-molecules (WPI-ITbM)Nagoya UniversityNagoyaJapan
  4. 4.Avian Bioscience Research Center, Graduate School of Bioagricultural SciencesNagoya UniversityNagoyaJapan

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