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Zoological Research
Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences
ISSN: 2095-8137
Vol. 26, No. 5, 2005, pp. 460-466
Bioline Code: zr05038
Full paper language: Chinese
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

Zoological Research, Vol. 26, No. 5, 2005, pp. 460-466

 en Kin Recognition in Cross-fostered Colonies of Root Voles ( Microtus oeconomus check for this species in other resources ): Male Response to Urine Odor of Female Siblings
SUN Ping, ZHAO Ya-jun, ZHAO Xin-quan, XU Shi-xiao, LI Bao-ming


The laboratory population was founded by the cross-fostering method. In order to investigate mechanisms of kin recognition by odor cues, we observed the behavioral responses of adult male root voles ( Microtus oeconomus check for this species in other resources ) to urine odors from females, which include non-siblings reared together (NSRT), non-siblings reared apart (NSRA), and siblings reared apart (SRA). The results showed that there are no significant differences in male vole body weight between siblings reared together and SRA during different developmental periods (age 2-70 days). Approach latency by males was significantly longer in response to NSRT than NSRA, whereas visiting time and sniff time by males were significantly shorter in response to NSRT than NSRA opposite-sex conspecifics. The behavioral responses of males to urine odors from SRA and NSRA had no relationship with the degree of genetic relatedness. In conclusion, male root voles 80 days in age can discriminate between familiar and unfamiliar non-kin by urine cues, but such males cannot discriminate between unfamiliar kin and non-kin. We conclude that male voles use an odor association mechanism for sibling recognition.

Root vole, Cross-foster, Sibling recognition, Association, Phenotype matching, Mate choice, Inbreeding avoidance

© Copyright 2005 Kunming Institute of Zoology, the Chinese Academy of Sciences
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