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Date of Award

1995

Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)

Department

Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Eric Thomas

First Committee Member

Alice S. Hunter

Second Committee Member

Paul Richmond

Abstract

Testosterone has been implicated in the production of courtship pheromones in various animals. It is hypothesized that testosterone also stimulates the production and/or release of any courtship pheromones in Xenopus laevis. Castrated male frogs were implanted with empty or testosterone(T)-filled Silastic capsules. The water from testosterone-treated frogs (C+ T) and castrated frogs with empty capsules (C) was pumped into a plastic Y-maze at a flow rate of 65 ml/min. A female frog placed in theY-maze was observed for a sixty minute trial period, and the movements and position of the female frog were recorded. A total of ten female frogs were put through four different combinations of water: C+T versus C water, C+T versus plain water, C versus plain water, and plain water versus plain water. Results of a paired T -test demonstrate that the female frogs preferred the water holding C+ T males over the water holding C males (p = 0.035). These preliminary results reveal that female frogs can discern the androgen status of males based solely upon water-born chemicals released by the males. This suggests that a testosterone-dependent courtship pheromone may be released by male X. laevis for the purpose of attracting females for mating.

Pages

46

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