Understanding avian egg cuticle formation in the oviduct: a study of its origin and deposition

Wilson, P. W., Suther, C. S., Bain, M. M. , Icken, W., Jones, A., Quinlan-Pluck, F., Olori, V., Gautron, J. and Dunn, I. C. (2017) Understanding avian egg cuticle formation in the oviduct: a study of its origin and deposition. Biology of Reproduction, 97(1), pp. 39-49. (doi:10.1093/biolre/iox070) (PMID:28859284)

[img]
Preview
Text
147846.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

1MB

Abstract

The cuticle is a unique invisible oviduct secretion that protects avian eggs from bacterial penetration through gas exchange pores. Despite its importance, experimental evidence is lacking for where, when, and what is responsible for its deposition. By using knowledge about the ovulatory cycle and oviposition, we have manipulated cuticle deposition to obtain evidence on these key points. Cuticle deposition was measured using staining and spectrophotometry. Experimental evidence supports the location of cuticle deposition to be the shell gland pouch (uterus), not the vagina, and the time of deposition to be within the final hour before oviposition. Oviposition induced by arginine vasotocin or prostaglandin, the penultimate and ultimate factors for the induction of oviposition, produces an egg with no cuticle; therefore, these factors are not responsible for cuticle secretion. Conversely, oviposition induced by GNRH, which mimics the normal events of ovulation and oviposition, results in a normal cuticle. There is no evidence that cuticle deposition differs at the end of a clutch and, therefore, there is no evidence that the ovulatory surge of progesterone affects cuticle deposition. Overall, the results demonstrate that the cuticle is a specific secretion and is not merely an extension of the organic matrix of the shell. Cuticle deposition was found to be reduced by an environmental stressor, and there is no codependence of the deposition of pigment and cuticle. Defining the basic facts surrounding cuticle deposition will help reduce contamination of hen's eggs and increase understanding of the strategies birds use to protect their eggs.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:Gonadotropin-releasing hormone, oviduct, ovum, uterus, vasopressin.
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Bain, Professor Maureen
Authors: Wilson, P. W., Suther, C. S., Bain, M. M., Icken, W., Jones, A., Quinlan-Pluck, F., Olori, V., Gautron, J., and Dunn, I. C.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
Journal Name:Biology of Reproduction
Publisher:Society for the Study of Reproduction
ISSN:0006-3363
ISSN (Online):1529-7268
Published Online:04 July 2017
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 The Authors
First Published:First published in Biology of Reproduction 97(1):39-49
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record