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Articles by J. X Zhang
Total Records ( 3 ) for J. X Zhang
  J. X Zhang , L Sun and Y. H. Zhang

The immunocompetence handicap hypothesis (ICHH) posits that females prefer signals emitted by immunocompetent males over immunocompromised males and that these signals are honest. However, mechanisms of mate choice under an ICHH model may be impacted by levels of genetic variation (inbred animals vs. outbred animals). Here, we conducted 2-choice female preference experiments and chemical analyses of male urine in inbred BALB/c and outbred CD-1 mice, both of which have immunocompromised nude (nu) strains resulting from a Foxn1 gene knockout. We found that inbred BALB/c females but not outbred CD-1 females preferred the urine of healthy males over that of immunocompromised males despite measured differences in the qualities of their urine. There was a clear increase in female-attracting pheromones (such as farnesenes) in the preputial glands and urine metabolites in healthy BALB/c males but no such difference between CD-1 and CD-1 nu males. Therefore, CD-1 male urine failed to provide an honest mate-choice cue for females. Our results suggest that deleterious traits associated with male odor in mice might be jointly affected by the level of inbreeding and immunodeficiency caused by a single-gene knockout.

  J. X Zhang , W Wei , J. H Zhang and W. H. Yang

The possible role of uropygial gland-secreted compounds in olfactory discrimination of sex or sex attractants in the budgerigar, Melopsittacus undulatus, was investigated using behavioral 2-choice tests and gas chromatography–mass spectrometry analysis. Our data showed that female budgerigars were capable of distinguishing males from females in a Y maze via body odor, indicating its sexual dimorphism. When we conducted a chemical assay of the uropygial preen gland secretions, we found 4 times more volatile octadecanol, nonadecanol, and eicosanol in ratios in males than in females, making them putative male pheromone candidates. Female birds also showed overt preferences for the odor of male preen gland secretions or the 3-alkanol blend equivalent preened onto the plumage of a male over that of female counterparts. Removal of any one alkanol was associated with a loss of attractiveness to the female. In another test device (a test cage) with visible male bird stimulus, females chose the male with the 3-alkanol blend of males over the other male with female preen gland secretion, whereas did not differentiate their responses between the males with either this blend or male preen gland secretions. The behavioral data robustly suggested that the 3 alkanols synergistically created a female attractant odor or male pheromone in the budgerigar and that bird uropygial glands have broader implications in sexual behavior than previously known. This is the first investigation with bioassay of components of the gland in a bird species.

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