Thesis Abstract – Zee (1999)
The Effect of Female Chemosignals on Male Testosterone Levels in Peromyscus maniculatus and P. californicus
Author and college:
Jennifer V. Zee, Pomona College
Bachelor of Arts in Biology
Gene Fowler, Pomona College
Chemosignals play a role in the communication of reproductive status between conspecifics. The testosterone responses of male Peromyscus maniculatus and P. californicus to chemosignals from estrus and pregnant female conspecifics was examined, with intentions to compare testosterone profiles of male mice who are socially polygynous and socially monogamous. All mice were collected from the field. Blood samples were taken from males after chemosignals were presented by introduction of soiled conspecific female bedding into the cages of experimental male mice. Female P. maniculatus failed to become reproductively active so this species was excluded from the experiment. P. californicus plasma testosterone levels did not differ significantly between control and experimental groups at any stage of the experiment (F = 0.663, df = 27, P = 0.7173). Although statistically unsupported, observation of trends of individual mouse testosterone responses revealed a possible effect of estrus females and bedding from estrus females on male testosterone levels.
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