Direct evidence for embryonic uptake of paternally-derived nutrients in two pipefishes (Syngnathidae: Syngnathus spp.)

  title={Direct evidence for embryonic uptake of paternally-derived nutrients in two pipefishes (Syngnathidae: Syngnathus spp.)},
  author={Jennifer L. Ripley and Christy M. Foran},
  journal={Journal of Comparative Physiology B},
  • J. Ripley, C. Foran
  • Published 1 April 2009
  • Biology, Environmental Science
  • Journal of Comparative Physiology B
Seahorses, sea dragons and pipefishes of the teleost family Syngnathidae are unique in that embryos develop within specialized brooding structures of the male. We enriched brooding Syngnathus fuscus and Syngnathus floridae males with injections of L-lysine-[15N2] and 16:0-palmitic acid 1-[13C] to demonstrate embryonic uptake of paternally-derived nutrients. While all embryos demonstrated amino acid enrichment, late stages showed significantly higher [15N], indicating greater utilization of… 
Osmoregulatory role of the paternal brood pouch for two Syngnathus species.
  • J. Ripley
  • Biology
    Comparative biochemistry and physiology. Part A, Molecular & integrative physiology
  • 2009
Evidence of paternal nutrient provisioning to embryos in broad-nosed pipefish Syngnathus typhle.
It is concluded that brooding males provide amino acids, and probably also glucose, to the developing embryos in the brood pouch andRadioactively labelled nutrients were tube-fed to brooding male Syngnathus typhle.
Quantification of whole brain arginine vasotocin for two Syngnathus pipefishes: elevated concentrations correlated with paternal brooding
Interspecific differences in the variability and mean AVT concentration for non-brooding males, the brood stage showing a return to post- Brooding concentrations, and the variability of AVT concentrations for brooding males with embryos in some development stages are documented.
Paternal care and brood reduction in a pipefish
It is demonstrated that brooding males absorb nutrients from reduced embryos in their brood pouch, presumably benefiting their own nutrition, and that brood reduction in this species is similar to filial cannibalism (eating of own young), found in many other fish species with paternal care.
Morphological and quantitative changes in paternal brood-pouch vasculature during embryonic development in two Syngnathus pipefishes.
This is the first study to document changes in brood-pouch vasculature during specific stages of embryonic development, to show regression of this vasculatures before fry release and to provide morphological data for two syngnathid species for which information on brood- pouch physiology is available.
Pouch brooding marsupial frogs transfer nutrients to developing embryos
Results suggest that in addition to gas exchange, the vascularized brood pouch membrane of G. excubitor also enables maternal nutrient transfer, and suggests greater complexity in reproductive and provisioning modes than previously thought.
The Effects of Food Limitation on Life History Tradeoffs in Pregnant Male Gulf Pipefish
Monitoring growth rate and offspring survivorship during the pregnancies of males under low- or high-food conditions suggests that undeveloped eggs reduce the pregnancy’s overall cost to the male compared to broods containing only viable offspring.
Evolutionary ecology of pipefish brooding structures: embryo survival and growth do not improve with a pouch
Negative effects of large egg size are suggested, despite the protection of brood pouches, in pipefishes that reproduce in water under hypoxia.
Brooding fathers, not siblings, take up nutrients from embryos
It is demonstrated here that nutrients can pass the other way, from embryos to the parent, for the first time, that males absorb nutrients derived from embryos through their paternal brood pouch.
Paternal nutrient provisioning during male pregnancy in the seahorse Hippocampus abdominalis
The results of this study support the hypothesis that nutrient transport occurs in the most advanced form of male pregnancy in vertebrates and suggest that lipid yolk reserves being depleted by embryonic metabolism are replaced by the brooding father.


Differential parental nutrient allocation in two congeneric pipefish species (Syngnathidae: Syngnathus spp.)
Results indicate gross classification of brooding structures into one of the three general pouch types does not predict the energetic investment of males in parental care and physiological characterization of the relative investment by each sex to offspring is essential to understanding the functional significance of the brood pouch.
Interspecific differences of parental polychlorinated biphenyl exposure on nutrient availability, egg production and brooding in two Syngnathus species
Overall S. fuscus demonstrated a general sensitivity to disturbances from laboratory exposure conditions and the potential physiological effects of PCB exposure on parental nutrient allocation in syngnathids and the general sensitivity of S.fuscus to environmental disturbances.
Maternal‐fetal transfer of 3H‐labelled leucine in the viviparous lizard Niveoscincus metallicus (scincidae: Lygosominae)
There is strong evidence for organic matrotrophy in N. metallicus and it is suggested that it provides a mechanism for supplementing yolk reserves during development in an unpredictable climate.
Male pregnancy in seahorses and pipefish: beyond the mammalian model
Understanding the changes associated with the parallel evolution of male pregnancy in the two major syngnathid lineages will help to identify key innovations that facilitated the development of this unique form of reproduction and, through comparison with other forms of live bearing, may allow the identification of a common set of characteristics shared by all viviparous organisms.
Effect of parental age and associated size on fecundity, growth and survival in the yellow seahorse Hippocampus kuda
It is shown that large parents produce offspring whose initial postnatal growth rates were significantly higher than those of the offspring of younger and smaller parents, and suggested that male body size, and pouch size and function, may influence the future fitness and survival of their offspring.
Population structure, growth rates, and seasonal abundance of twoSyngnathus pipefish species
Investigation of seasonal migration and spawning, sex ratios, size at maturity, sexual dimorphism in length, and growth rates in Northern pipefish and dusky pipefish in Chincoteague Bay supports the hypothesis that the strength of sexual selection differs in these species.
Microsatellite analysis of maternity and the mating system in the Gulf pipefish Syngnathus scovelli, a species with male pregnancy and sex‐role reversal
Highly variable microsatellite loci were employed to study the mating system of the sexually dimorphic Gulf pipefish Syngnathus scovelli, and it was determined that only one male had received eggs from more than a single female; and on two separate occasions, two different males had receiving eggs from the same female.
Functional significance of the male brood pouch in the reproductive strategies of pipefishes and seahorses: a morphological and ultrastructural comparative study on three anatomically different pouches
The morphological organization of the male brood pouch skin of three different species of syngnathids, investigated using light and electron microscopy, showed that each pouch had a skin with a different ultrastructure, which reflected different relationships between the paternal body and the developing embryos.
Direct Evidence for Mother-to-Embryo Transfer of Nutrients in the Livebearing Fish Gambusia geiseri
Direct experimental evidence of maternal-to-embryo nutrient transfer in largespring gambusia is presented, suggesting that matrotrophy may be an important maternal investment strategy for this species.
Reproductive Success of Females Limited by Males in Two Pipefish Species
We investigate whether males limit the reproductive success of females in the two pipefish species Syngnathus typhle and Nerophis ophidion. Syngnathus typhle is sexually monomorphic, and courtship