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Impact of oxidative stress on male reproductive tactics in the Seba's Short Tailed bats (Carollia Perspicillata)

Author Magali MENIRI
Director of thesis Prof. Dr. Fabrice Helfenstein
Co-director of thesis
Summary of thesis

Oxidative stress has been proposed to be a universal mechanism underlying major life history trade-offs. Indeed, reactive oxygen species represent a major constraint for all organisms. Sperm cells are especially vulnerable to oxidative stress, which will reduce male fertility. Therefore, antioxidant allocation is expected to have a major role in male reproductive tactics.

Short tailed fruit bats Carollia perspicillata exhibit two alternative reproductive tactics, with harem males defending a territory, and bachelor males. According to sperm competition models, subordinate males are expected to invest more energy in their ejaculate, to compensate for a lower access to females. Applied in the framework of oxidative stress, we can expect that depending on their social status, males will allocate differently their antioxidant resources. Therefore, we predict that harem males will allocate heavily in their soma, whereas bachelors males are expected to invest more in the germline, leading to enhanced sperm quality.

We will test this hypothesis with three experiments, to understand how oxidative stress impacts major life history traits, and how males cope with it depending on their reproductive tactic.


Administrative delay for the defence