Data from: The level of an intracellular antioxidant during development determines the adult phenotype in a bird species: a potential organizer role for glutathione
Romero-Haro, Ana Ángela; Alonso-Alvarez, Carlos (2014), Data from: The level of an intracellular antioxidant during development determines the adult phenotype in a bird species: a potential organizer role for glutathione, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.1rd58
Life-history traits are often involved in trade-offs whose outcome would depend on the availability of resources but also on the state of specific molecular signals. Early conditions can influence trade-offs and program the phenotype throughout the lifetime, with oxidative stress likely involved in many taxa. Here we address the potential regulatory role of a single intracellular antioxidant in life-history trade-offs. Blood glutathione levels were reduced in a large sample of birds (zebra finch Taeniopygia guttata) during development using the synthesis inhibitor buthionine sulfoximine (BSO). Results revealed several modifications in the adult phenotype. BSO-treated nestlings showed lower glutathione and plasma antioxidant levels. In adulthood, BSO birds endured greater oxidative damage in erythrocytes but stronger expression of a sexual signal. Moreover, adult BSO females also showed weaker resistance to oxidative stress but were heavier and showed better body condition. Results suggest that low glutathione values during growth favor the investment in traits that should improve fitness returns, probably in the form of early reproduction. Higher oxidative stress in adulthood may be endured if this cost is paid later in life. Either the presence of specific signaling mechanisms or the indirect effect of increased oxidative stress can explain our findings.