Life history linked to immune investment in developing amphibians

Woodhams, Douglas C., Bell, Sara C., Bigler, Laurent, Caprioli, Richard M., Chaurand, Pierre, Lam, Brianna A., Reinert, Laura K., Stalder, Urs, Vazquez, Victoria M., Schliep, Klaus, Hertz, Andreas, and Rollins-Smith, Louise A. (2016) Life history linked to immune investment in developing amphibians. Conservation Physiology, 4. pp. 1-15.

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The broad diversity of amphibian developmental strategies has been shaped, in part, by pathogen pressure, yet trade-offs between the rate of larval development and immune investment remain poorly understood. The expression of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) in skin secretions is a crucial defense against emerging amphibian pathogens and can also indirectly affect host defense by influencing the composition of skin microbiota. We examined the constitutive or induced expression of AMPs in 17 species at multiple life-history stages. We found that AMP defenses in tadpoles of species with short larval periods (fast pace of life) were reduced in comparison with species that overwinter as tadpoles and grow to a large size. A complete set of defensive peptides emerged soon after metamorphosis. These findings support the hypothesis that species with a slow pace of life invest energy in AMP production to resist potential pathogens encountered during the long larval period, whereas species with a fast pace of life trade this investment in defense for more rapid growth and development.

Item ID: 49177
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2051-1434
Keywords: antimicrobial peptides, disease ecology, innate immunity, life-history strategy, MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry, tadpoles
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© The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press and the Society for Experimental Biology. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Funders: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), National Science Foundation (USA) (NSF-USA), Integrated Research Challenges in Environmental Biology (IRCEB)
Projects and Grants: NHLBI Immunology of Blood and Vascular Systems Training Grant 5T32 HL069765-05, SNSF 31-125099, NSF USA IOS-0520847, NSF USA IOS-0619536, NSF USA IOS-1121758, IRCEB IBN-997706
Date Deposited: 06 Jun 2017 23:50
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310308 Terrestrial ecology @ 50%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3104 Evolutionary biology > 310407 Host-parasite interactions @ 50%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
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